On Tuesday, the White House condemned a newly passed law in Texas that requires school sports to be separated by biological sex, saying the law is "hateful" and is "bullying disguised as legislation."
The law, which was signed by both the House and Senate on Monday, is expected to be signed by Gov. Greg Abbott, who commended lawmakers for having finally "passed legislation to protect the integrity of Texas high school sports," according to The Dallas Morning News.
The White House blasted the bill, 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 told The Dallas Morning News.
"These anti-transgender bills are nothing more than bullying disguised as legislation and undermine our nation's core values," he continued.
The administration "will keep fighting for the full measure of equality, dignity, and respect that all LGBTQI+ Americans deserve," Hajinazarian said, adding that "the White House will be engaging stakeholders in Texas and other states in the coming days and weeks to build a path forward together toward true LGBTQI+ equality."
When questioned about whether the Biden administration would challenge the law in Texas, press secretary Jen Psaki deferred the question to the Justice Department, but stated that "the president's view is that transgender rights are human rights, whether for adults or kids."
The bill, once signed into law, could potentially clash with a statement given by the Department of Education in June, ruling that Title IX protects students from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
While advocated of the bill have insisted that transgender athletes competing against girls puts those female athletes at a disadvantage, LGBTQ advocates will likely challenge the bill.
Driftwood Representative Erin Zwiener, a founding member and secretary of the House LGBTQ Caucus, called the ban "a mean-spirited attack on vulnerable children" that turns them into "casualties in a culture war."
"There are no documented incidents in Texas of a transgender girl taking an athletic opportunity away from a cisgender girl, but the damage done to the mental health of our transgender students is well-documented," she said.
There are, however, examples of that in other parts of the US, such as in Connecticut or Hawaii. A biological male who identifies as transgender was recently named "sportswoman of the year" in New Zealand. CeCe Telfer, who competes on women's teams and is a gender non-conforming biological male, has also taken spots from women athletes.
"The trans sports ban is a harmful 'solution' in search of a nonexistent problem, and even proponents of the bill could not give real life examples of the scenarios they claim they're trying to prevent," said Wesley Story, communications director at Progress Texas, stating that Abbott was "stigmatizing a group of kids simply for being different for a few far-right votes in the Republican primaries."
House Bill 25 makes it a law that athletes must compete only against others of the same biological sex, with the only caveat being if there is not a girls team for a sport. In that instance, a girl may be allowed to compete on a boys team.
House Bill 25 also does not allow transgender students to join teams with recent birth certificate changes as proof of gender. The gender on the birth certificate must have been entered "at or near the time of the student's birth."