On Monday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 25 into law, which separates school sports teams by a student biological gender.
HB 25 requires that students play on sports teams determined by the gender listed on their birth certificate. According to the Texas Tribune, the law will go into effect on January 18.
The new law also goes a step further than rules set forth by the University Interscholastic League, which is the organization that governs Texas school sports. Current UIL rules say that students must perform on teams that align with the gender on their birth certificate, but they accept modified birth certificates.
HB 25 requires the birth certificate being used to have been issued at or around the time of birth of the athlete, meaning that birth certificates altered to reflect a person's chosen gender ID will not be accepted.
The law passed through both the House and Senate last week in the legislative body's third special session of the year.
The White House condemned the bill last week after it went to the governor’s desk, saying "This hateful bill in Texas is just the latest example of Republican state lawmakers using legislation to target transgender kids — whom the president believes are some of the bravest Americans — in order to score political points," White House spokesman Ike Hajinazarian said.
Bill author state Representative Valoree Swanson said in a statement on Monday that she was "overjoyed" that Abbott decided to sign the bill into law. Swanson has argued that HB 25 protects the fairness of competition in girls sports, and upholds Title IX.
"It's so very, very important that we protect everything that women have gained in the last 50 years," Swanson said during a committee hearing.