A Republican lawmaker has introduced a bill that will require Texas school districts to separate sports teams based on biological genders, directly challenging a recent federal executive order praised by Democrats. 

House Bill 1458, introduced by State Rep. Valoree Swanson (R–Spring), would keep sport teams to “only students of the same biological sex; or students of both biological sexes.” It would also restrict biological male students from participating on athletic teams designated for biological females.

Swanson’s bill comes in the wake of a federal executive order, Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation, one of 29 executive orders signed by President Joe Biden on Inauguration Day. This executive order would cut funding to schools that kept “transgender” students—those who say they identify as the opposite biological sex—from participating in activities. 

HB 1458 would require school districts, charter schools, and state universities to keep all sports teams to the biological gender of the participants. In other words, a trans female (a biological male) could not run track against a biological female, or a trans male (biological female) could not play tennis against a biological male.  

It would also protect schools from adverse actions by the University Interscholastic League, or any state agency or political subdivision. The bill will also give students a way to ask for compensation if they are forced to compete against someone of the opposite sex. 

While Democrats and leftist advocacy groups have praised Biden’s executive order as being “pro-LGBTQ,” women’s rights advocates have said the gender-identity policy will hurt female athletes and “erase women” by forcing girls to compete against biological males. 

Texans can contact Swanson and their state lawmakers to voice their opinions.  

If you know a student that has had to compete against someone of the opposite biological sex or know of a situation that is currently happening, please contact tcollum@texasscorecard.com. 

Tera Collum

Tera Collum has 13 years experience as a government and economics teacher in Texas public schools. She recently was the director of The Travis Institute of Educational Policy and Teachers for Texas.