Some Texas business leaders are calling on state lawmakers to put the brakes on several bills they say are discriminatory and hurtful.
Senate Bill 29, which was recently passed by the Senate, would require students to participate in the sport that matches the identity of their birth certificates.
The bill’s author, Texas Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) talked about an even playing field.
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“Student safety is a big concern. You take a 16-year-old adolescent male, that is just starting a transition, that shows up on a soccer field of a girl's athletic team, they have an advantage most of the time,” Perry said.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) applauded the decision and issued a statement which said in part: "Women and girls have been fighting for equity in sports for decades and their achievements have been great. Senate Bill 29 will ensure that in the Lone Star State, women and girls' sports will continue to thrive because those athletes will not be forced to compete against men and boys who have an unfair advantage. I commend Sen. Perry for his leadership and courage in bringing this important issue forward."
A group of businesses, including American Airlines, Amazon, and several chambers of commerce, gathered together in Austin for a news conference about legislation they believe unfairly targets the LGBTQ community. Gearbox Entertainment in Frisco was one of them.
“Make no mistake about it, we are risking a return to the bathroom bill days of 2017. Just like the bathroom bill, we are presented with solutions that are looking for problems,” said David Najjab of Gearbox Entertainment.
The group wrote an open letter, which says in part: "We are concerned to see a resurgence of efforts to exclude transgender youth from full participation in their communities, to criminalize or ban best-practice medical care that is proven to save lives, or to exclude LGBTQ people in a variety of other settings, including accessing healthcare, filling a prescription, or seeking legal representation.”
Senate Bill 29 now goes to the House. Other bills targeted by the business groups are in various stages of the legislature.