After filing legislation last session to protect female athletes in junior high and high school from having to compete against biological men in sports, Republican State Rep. Valoree Swanson of Spring now wants to expand that to include women’s college sports.

In 2021, Swanson authored House Bill 25, the “Save Girls’ Sports Act,” which took effect later that year. The law protects girls from being forced to compete against biological boys. It also assured that, if no other options are available, biological males can play in male-only sports.

Although legislation was filed last session to combat the issue of biological males in women’s collegiate sports, those measures were killed.

According to Swanson’s office, her new legislation (House Bill 23) would close all loopholes in the law; athletes would only be allowed to compete in sports based on the biological sex written on their birth certificate.

House Bill 23 prevents all schools, including private schools and institutions of higher education, from allowing biological males to compete in female-only sports. It also prevents biological females from competing in male-only sports. The measure does clarify that the only time a biological male or female can compete in a sport of the opposite sex is when there are no teams for such a sport that correspond with the athlete’s biological sex.

It also provides legal remedies to women who have had their opportunities, safety, and competitive standings affected when biological males were allowed to compete in female-only sports and activities.

Late last week, Swanson’s legislation was sent to the State Affairs Committee, which is chaired by State Rep. Todd Hunter (R–Corpus Christi).

Hunter is one of only eight Republican lawmakers, including Speaker Dade Phelan, who have not signed onto Swanson’s legislation as co-authors; the others include Dustin Burrows of Lubbock, Angie Chen Button of Garland, Charlie Geren of Fort Worth, Stan Lambert of Abilene, Morgan Meyer of Dallas, and Mike Schofield of Katy. Geren is also a member of the House State Affairs Committee.

Soli Rice

A journalist for Texas Scorecard, Soli is a new Texan with a passion for politics. She's excited to hone her writing skills and help spread truth to Texans.