AUSTIN, Texas — On Monday, Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill into law that would require transgender student-athletes to play on sports teams based on their sex assigned at or near birth.
LGBTQ advocates said the bill is harmful to transgender youth.
Armonte Butler with Advocates for Youth called the bill "awful" and said it is another example of "anti-trans legislation."
"It's truly sad that this is the political priority of certain folks in power, instead of ensuring that folks have access to safe and supportive environments," said Butler. "We're actually limiting those around us that other folks have. So it's truly sad."
He said along with limiting trans athletes' ability to play sports, the bill is also "a narrative that stigmatizes, shames and, to an extent, criminalizes trans youth."
Meanwhile, supporters argue it does not keep anyone from playing a sport, saying it just keeps things fair for athletes and protects women's sports.
"We think this will be great for Texas, especially Texas girls, because it makes sure that they can compete on a level playing field and that they don't lose out on opportunities for scholarships and championships because they have to compete against a biological male," said Mary Castle with Texas Values.
Castle added the bill ensures the Title IX protections stay in place.
The law goes into effect on Jan. 18, 2022.
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