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Senate passes anti-transgender athletics bill

It’s gross, and it unfortunately may not be the only such bill they pass this session.

Transgender students would be banned from competing on school sports teams based on their gender identity under a bill that passed the Texas Senate on Thursday.

Despite immense opposition from civil rights groups and Democrats, the upper chamber voted on an 18-12 vote to advance Senate Bill 29. The measure now heads to the Texas House.

The proposal would prohibit students from participating in a sport “that is designated for the biological sex opposite to the student’s biological sex as determined at the student’s birth.” Students would be required to prove their “biological sex” by showing their original, unamended birth certificates.

State Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, argued on Wednesday that the prohibition is necessary to keep girls safe from injury and to retain fairness in interscholastic athletics. But Perry acknowledged that he doesn’t know of any transgender students currently competing in Texas school sports.

And medical professionals have largely debunked the argument that transgender athletes have an advantage, with one study showing people taking hormones did not have a significant performance edge in distance running.

Opponents said the Republican leadership-backed bill was a “fear tactic” in search of a problem that doesn’t exist.

“Trans kids, they just know they are not what their birth certificate says,” said state Sen. José Menéndez, D-San Antonio. “And that’s where we’re creating a problem that we don’t need to.”

[…]

Wednesday afternoon, Equality Texas held a news conference outside the Capitol building in Austin to bring awareness to over 30 bills filed in the legislature that would discriminate against LGBTQ youth. Ricardo Martinez, the organization’s CEO, noted that the first of these anti-trans bills was filed 156 days ago, on the first day of bill filing for this session.

“That day kicked off the Texas portion of a nationally-coordinated attack on our community,” Martinez said. “This attack, which intentionally targets transgender and intersex youth, who are some of the most vulnerable members of our community, is especially cruel given that we’re still in a deadly pandemic.”

Landon Richie, an 18-year-old transgender Texan, skipped his classes at the University of Houston to speak outside the Capitol Wednesday.

“Trans kids belong in Texas and deserve the same rights, access to health care, access to sports, access to public facilities, as any other Texan,” Richie said.

Mack Beggs, a transgender athlete from Texas, garnered national headlines after he won back-to-back wrestling titles in 2017 and 2018. Beggs competed in the women’s division because the UIL ruled he had to compete against the gender that appeared on his birth certificate. Attorney Jim Baudhuin sued the UIL in 2017, arguing that Beggs posed an injury risk to other athletes and possessed an unfair advantage. A Travis County judge tossed out the case.

“Mentally, it took a toll on me,” Beggs told Yahoo News last month. “I think we need to have resources in place for other [trans] kids who are in those positions.”

He spoke out against proposals like SB 29, calling them “revolting and honestly appalling.”

The irony of people who have systematically chiseled away at women’s health care in Texas arguing that this ridiculous and pointless bill will somehow “protect” women is enough to break my brain. As previously noted, there are economic consequences on the line here, as the NCAA has codified its warning that “it will only hold college championships in states where transgender student-athletes can participate without discrimination”. As with voter suppression, the reason to oppose this harmful nonsense isn’t that Texas may lose out on a couple of Final Fours, but that bills like this are directly harmful to many children, and are just morally wrong on any level you want to look at them. And as noted above, it just gets worse from here.

The mother of a transgender boy testified before the Texas legislature in tears as Republicans try to pass a bill to criminalize parents who support their transgender children.

“I’m terrified to be here today,” said Amber Briggle told the Texas Senate Committee on State Affairs at a hearing earlier this week. “I’m afraid that by speaking here today that my words will be used against me should S.B. 1646 or S.B. 1311 pass, and my sweet son whom I love more than life itself will be taken from me.”

Texas’s S.B. 1646 would redefine child abuse to include “consenting to or assisting in the administering or supplying of, a puberty suppression prescription drug or cross-sex hormone to a child,” as well as other gender-affirming health care procedures, even though puberty blockers are reversible and have been found to significantly reduce suicidal thoughts for trans people.

And Briggle knows that first-hand.

“When my son was four-years-old, he asked me if scientists could turn him into a boy,” Briggle said, adding that she didn’t understand that he was trans. “I only knew that he wasn’t like most girls his age and that something inside him was hurting.”

She said that she learned about trans youth and found that surgery is not performed on minors, despite how much Republican lawmakers talk about surgery in the context of bills to ban gender-affirming care for minors.

“Today, my son is 13-years-old, the most popular boy in seventh grade, and loved by our friends, family, our church, and our community,” Briggle said. “This is possible because he has parents who affirm him and provide him with the support he needs.”

“Taking that support away from him, or worse, taking him away from his family because we broke the law to provide that support – will have devastating and heartbreaking consequences,” she said, fighting through tears.

“If this bill becomes law, that, senators, is child abuse,” she concluded. “And I promise I will call every single one of you every time a transgender child dies from suicide to remind you that their lives could have been saved, but you chose not to.”

Neither SB1646 nor SB1311 have had committee votes yet, so maybe they’ll die a quiet death and we can exhale and say we dodged a particularly nasty bullet. The fact that Amber Briggle and Kai Shappley and countless others were forced to testify on behalf of their own humanity or the humanity of their children is beyond disgusting. The Chron has more.

UPDATE: And then this happened:

It is hard not to despair. Rep. Erin Zwiener has more.

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34 Comments

  1. David Fagan says:

    I cannot support a parent putting a four year old through any type of permanent medical intervention such as this.

    In the sports issue, if the trans athletes have no competitive edge, why is it only the womens’ sports that have an issue? Shouldn’t there be an issue about female to male trans participating in male sports? Would they not be the ones taking their own levels of testosterone? But, taking testosterone is illegal in itself in those sports.

  2. Manny says:

    David, cause most women don’t want to be men.

    People, mostly men, want to tell women what they can and cannot do with their bodies. You don’t want parents to be parents, are you going to support the child?

  3. Bill Daniels says:

    Manny,

    You’ve got it wrong. David wants to INSIST that parents be parents, which means raising the child as the proper gender. 50 years ago, 100 years ago…200 years ago, this wouldn’t even have to be said, but here we are.

  4. C.L. says:

    If anyone thinks transgender folks are a recent phenomenon…. I got news for you – medical science may now be so advanced as to allow a ‘procedure’ to take place, but rest assured there have been boys wanting to be considered as girls and girls wanting to be considered as boys … since forever.

  5. David Fagan says:

    C.L.

    And the difference is today’s medical procedures are permanent, and at least life changing. People who wanted to be another sex in the past could change their mind again. A four year old, generally, still believes in Santa Claus.

    The NCAA could also change their rules and dictate the levels of hormones. People transition to be accepted as women could be required to maintain the same levels of estrogen as the average among the competitors. Issues of privacy? Yes. But just about the same as drug testing in other sports.

    Manny, has it occurred that many people who have a complaint about transgender women competing are the competitors themselves, thus naturally born women?

  6. Bill Daniels says:

    https://worldnewsdailyreport.com/california-man-sues-his-parents-for-18m-for-dressing-him-up-as-a-girl-up-to-the-age-of-14/

    “A young man from San Francisco launched a controversial civil lawsuit against his parents this morning, demanding $1,857,250 in financial compensation for being raised as a girl and forced to wear feminine clothes for more than 14 years.

    The plaintive, 22-year old Chelsea Roberts, alleges that his parents, Brian and Angela Roberts, forced him to wear dresses or skirts every day for years, forced him to behave and identify himself as a girl, and even tried to impose a sex change surgery on him.

    In his request, the young man claims his parents’ behavior and the sexual identity they imposed on him have caused severe psychological trauma that will leave lasting scars and necessitate years of therapy.

    Interviewed by FOX affiliate KTVU, Mr. Roberts gave an emotional testimony of his childhood and being raised as a girl.”

  7. Manny says:

    Bill Daniels, telling people how to be parents. More on how to raise a child to be a hater of anyone that does not look like them. Unless it is a girl then she is chattel.

    You are funny sometimes, Bill.

  8. Manny says:

    Bill, do you ever check what you link to? If you weren’t so full of hate maybe you would realize;

    “World News Daily Report (WNDR) is a satirical fake news website purporting to be an American Jewish Zionist newspaper based in Tel Aviv and dedicated to covering biblical archeology news and other mysteries around the Globe.[3]

    It is run by Canadians Janick Murray-Hall and Olivier Legault and follows the old-school tabloid-style faux-journalism of its predecessors, such as the Weekly World News.[4]

    Snopes.com reports that the website perpetrates hoaxes and rumors to prey on credulous readers. The website combines religious and scientific fakery, political conspiracy theories, and “the occasional seed of truth” to create its false reports.[5] ”

    Crazy Bill!

  9. Manny says:

    David, how many is many? A number please.

  10. Manny says:

    Just in case there some people that come to an visit Kuffner, the real Bill is below, the following are statements by the piece of manure that goes by Bill Daniels;

    1. give orders for the soldiers to shoot to kill any person entering the kill zone from the Mexican side, period. Women? Children? Old people? Military age males? Waste anyone that crosses from Mexico into the US. Back that up with predator drones . and perhaps an A-10 every 3 or 4 hundred miles, for close air support for larger groups, and you’ve secured the border, with no fences.

    2. I oppose the mandatory masks by government diktat (I’m OK with private businesses mandating it for their own property, however) AND I support abortion, because most of the murdered kids would otherwise have been born to liberal parents. It’s better they were never born and don’t have to suffer the neglect, abuse, and brainwashing leftist parent(s) are known for. They also don’t grow up to vote for leftists, so there’s that, too. Look at the crime and rioting in leftist controlled areas; Without easy access to abortions, the crime rate in those areas would be even higher as the unwanted, un-cared for kids grow up and turn into ‘super predators.

    3. It is also obvious that Meghan wears the pants in your family because otherwise you would not have used your dog whistle to mock our president. You used to be a real man who other men looked up to. Now you’re seen as nothing more than a milquetoast.

    Sadly, you went from a hero in 2008, when you served on the front lines in Afghanistan, to a henpecked husband now. You have been turned into a puppet whose strings are being pulled by a domineering bitch.
    And your press is nearly as bad as the daily attacks against the President by the Trump-hating media. The only good press you get is in the US, but only when you bad-mouth President Trump.

    Your fame-hungry wife is achieving her goal. There is even talk about her being a future presidential candidate. Horrors!!

    Harry, I’m sure you are having great sex and getting mind-blowing blow jobs, but when all is said and done, your marriage will eventually head for the rocks. And it will most likely be a bitter and contentious divorce involving the custody of your wonderful son Archie. But when it’s all over, you’ll be rid of the domineering bitch.

    LOL! While I would agree with most that this isn’t the typical BJP subject matter, surprise, surprise, surprise…..I pretty much agree with Howie. While I don’t give a crap about royalty or Hollywood celebrity, I can recognize a guy who is desperately trying to get along by adopting his wife’s politics. Howie’s right….it won’t ever be enough, no woman will respect that weakness, and she’ll eventually leave him when she thinks she can maximize her payout. And he will deserve what he gets for choosing poorly.

    4. Manny,
    While my parents were raising me, you were raising a retard son whose only use in life, besides enabling you to collect an extra SSI check, seems to be for you to have an extra ballot to fill out, come voting time. You get yet another government check each month for caring for him now, don’t you? You’re a leach on society, Manny

    There is not enough soap in the world to scrub away the stink from you Bill!

  11. racymind says:

    Kuff, thank you for your coverage on this ongoing issue. My heart is full of despair and sadness for our trans youth, their parents and medical providers. Immeasurable suffering is the only result if these things stand. I went through many years of hopelessness decades ago when any form of treatment or support was hard to find.

    And, sorry you got transphobe trolls.

  12. Jen says:

    Fagan, no permanent interventions occur while the patient is a minor. Puberty can be delayed with medications, that is all. Not permanent. Supported by the major medical authorities.

  13. David Fagan says:

    Jen,

    Puberty delayed by medication? Why? Does that justify anything? For a person who cannot make medical decisions on their own?

    I would hesitate taking a child to a doctor so willing to alter their physiology. Reversible or not.

    If a person is over 18, on their own and responsible for their own decisions, feel free to do whatever.

  14. Jen says:

    Puberty causes permanent changes to one’s body that are devastating to trans persons. No boy wants hips or breasts, and for girls changes such a jawline, beard and deep voice are horrible. Once these changes have occurred, extensive medical interventions are necessary to reverse what can be changed, to relieve the suffering of the person, if they are able to keep from suicide because of the way they look. So the delay of pubertal changes until age 18 is vital.

    Trans kids go through hell just to get anyone to listen and take them seriously. Few are lucky enough to get any kind of help. No doctor treats this condition lightly, and most don’t want anything to do with it.

    This is the business of highly educated medical professionals, and definitely not politicians.

  15. David Fagan says:

    I’m not a medical professional, and I’m not a politician, I hadn’t read the law proposed, so I’m not an authority, but I would have a serious concern about the long term effects anyway, just because someone says there’s no long term effects doesn’t mean they know for sure. Even if they are a highly skilled doctor. So. In conclusion, good luck with that.

  16. Jen says:

    If this law is passed, the long term effect will be many more suicides of trans kids. Suicide rates of trans kids are very high already.

    These kids need proper help and support, not a disastrous intervention from a bunch of partisan yahoos that will cause them to lose all hope for their future.

  17. C.L. says:

    For a party that’s all about keeping government out of people’s lives, they sure seem interested in having government dictate…

    The hypocrisy is deep here.

  18. David Fagan says:

    Manny, I did your research for you,

    “Beggs — who was born female and transitioned to male — was sued by a parent of one of the female wrestlers he was competing against.”

    While the lawsuit was thrown out, not over trans issues, but over UIL policy, it sounds like this precipitated the law proposed today.

    Beggs started taking testosterone, “less than one milliliter ” one of the articles said, and had a 57-0 undefeated, and a 32-0 undefeated seasons wrestling high school girls who, if they took the same testosterone (we are taking equality in sports) would have been disqualified for perfomance enhancement. Some of Biggs’ wins were by forfeit because the girls didn’t want to ‘compete’ against Biggs. The article says there were a few boos, drowned out by cheers for Biggs, but the article later stated that the silence afterward probably said more, because no one wants to speak up and address the problem for fear of retaliation. So, there’s a lawsuit, and a subsequent bill. Apparently, there ARE girls who want to compete on an even playing field. There were 57 girls Biggs won against, being in the Dallas area, I do not think they were all white (because I know that is important to you), so I would say it was 57 young women of multi cultural background that was denied the chance to competing on an even playing field.

  19. David Fagan says:

    Here’s a study, found by following the same link provided in the article:

    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33289906/

    Which states “Longitudinal studies examining the effects of testosterone suppression on muscle mass and strength in transgender women consistently show very modest changes, where the loss of lean body mass, muscle area and strength typically amounts to approximately 5% after 12 months of treatment. Thus, the muscular advantage enjoyed by transgender women is only minimally reduced when testosterone is suppressed. Sports organizations should consider this evidence when reassessing current policies regarding participation of transgender women in the female category of sport.”

    And another study addressing the performance of distant running study mentioned in the article:

    https://journals.lww.com/acsm-csmr/Fulltext/2016/11000/Beyond_Fairness__The_Biology_of_Inclusion_for.6.aspx

    That states:
    “In the only study to assess performance in athletes who have transitioned from MTF, Harper (8) compared race times in eight nonelite MTF transgender runners who had competed in distance races in both genders and found that their age-graded and gender-graded performances had not changed once their bodies had adjusted to the transition. Harper’s unique study is limited by the fact that none of the eight runners were international level, raising the question of whether these findings based on a small number of transgender athletes can be extrapolated to elite transgender or even intersex athletes, that is, those who are born with a mixture of male and female biologies”

    So, maybe it’s not all cut and dried.

  20. Jen says:

    The stupidity is deep here too. Mack Beggs was not allowed by Texas state rules to compete as a boy, as he desired.

    “The wrestler has repeatedly asked authorities to compete in the boys’ division, but rules for Texas public high schools require athletes to enter tournaments under the gender on their birth certificate.”

  21. David Fagan says:

    And Beggs, ultimately, competed. I agree, Biggs wanted to compete with other boys, but Biggs also wrestled high school girls. If equality is the goal, where’s the equality for the girls Biggs wrestled? that’s the issue that precipitated the bill. There are 57 other girls that have a stake in this, it ain’t all about Biggs.

    Also, on a note to Biggs’ welfare, if Biggs wants to compete in mens’ wrestling, how much testosterone will Biggs be allowed to take? Biggs competed and came in third, but does that justify more testosterone to work to become first? That’s between Biggs and a doctor, but extra testosterone even in naturally born men has been proven to be detrimental to their health. A cycle of competitive performance and a desire to win, at some point, will have to be curtailed. When a doctor draws the line at a level of medically given testosterone, and if Biggs hadn’t reached the competitive goals set, what will Biggs do then? That’s for Biggs to live out. You reap what you sow, and that is something Biggs will not be able to change.

  22. Bill Daniels says:

    Jen,

    Let’s just say Texas allowed her to wrestle with the boys. What happens when she starts complaining that they ‘grabbed her by the pussy,’ or fondled her breasts? You’re putting the boys in an untenable position. How are they supposed to grapple with a female? It’s a pretty hands on sport, you know.

  23. Jen says:

    You guys don’t get it, at all. Mack Beggs wanted to prove himself against other boys, there weren’t going to be any complaints. Any wrestlers out there correct me, but I understand wrestling is more about cleverness and speed than strength anyway, you make your move and get the hold you want before your opponent can react.

    This bill would require that trans men like Mack Beggs must compete in girls tournaments, just the thing you nimrods are complaining about.

  24. Bill Daniels says:

    Jen,

    Respectfully, I disagree. We do get it. The things we are complaining about are:

    ~underage children being given prescription hormones to treat a mental illness….we don’t think that should be legal

    ~allowing boys to compete with girls (co-ed sports excepted, of course)

    So with Ms. Beggs particularly, she DID compete in the correct class, with other girls, but Ms. Beggs had the advantage of being pumped full of male hormones. We object to that basic unfairness. Do you remember back in the day, the East German and Soviet women’s Olympic teams? This is why there was a world outcry…..women shouldn’t be expected to compete against other women pumped full of testosterone.

    The whole point of Title IX, and feminists demanding separate but equal access to sports opportunities, was to create female only spaces, where girls could compete on an even footing. I would expect you, a woman, to be particularly aware and attuned to that.

    Finally, I think you are underestimating teen boys. You don’t think some or most of them wouldn’t enjoy fingering and groping Ms. Beggs during a wrestling match? They’d do it just to humiliate her, and have a perfect defense. “Hey, we’re wrestling….touching happens, part of the sport.” The rest of the boys would refuse to get in the ring with her because they wouldn’t want to be put in that position. Either way, it would be humiliating for her. Beggs already exhibits mental illness. How do you think that kind of unwanted touching, or refusal to touch at all, from boys during matches, is going to effect her?

  25. Jen says:

    You are just trolling, Bill, like usual.

    Anyone trying any kind of sexual move during a sports match will be noticed by the ref and the coaches, and kicked out, they will also likely lose the match since the activity decreased their competitiveness. Kids are given drugs for various reasons all the time. You are just having an opinion dictated by your controllers, which doesn’t correspond to the educated opinion of professionals.

    Your objections are lame, your examples are what, one person, and the usual stupid whatabouts.

    This issue doesn’t require the attention of the Texas Legislature. They should be working on important things that actually affect people. This bill needs to be thrown in the trash where it belongs.

  26. David Fagan says:

    Jen,

    You’re right, I don’t “get it”, the bill precipitated from a lawsuit involving the whole Biggs deal. And what about the girls who decided to forfeit because of concern for personal injury? That’s something that was brought up in 2017.

    Should Biggs be allowed to compete against boys? I don’t see why not, but to allow people who experience testosterone, naturally or medically, to compete against girls who generally do not experience testosterone in the same ways is obviously a concern among those who brought the bill to their representatives. And those concerns deserve representation also. Is this bill the best decision for all? Doesn’t look like it.

    But here’s a crazy idea, maybe all concerned could have gotten together and came to a consensus before a law was drafted. But, as the article showed, the silence among the audience said more than the audible boos Biggs experienced. One side has a complaint and the other side calls them stupid, and a law is the result. Want to blame someone for it? Well, blame is as old as Adam and Eve. I guarentee someone will blame someone else.

  27. David Fagan says:

    “Cypress Ranch senior Kayla Fitts, who was 52-0 this season before falling to Beggs 11-2 in Saturday’s semifinal match, told The Dallas Morning News, “The strength definitely was the difference. I didn’t anticipate how strong he was.”

    Asked whether she believed having to wrestle Beggs was fair, Fitts firmly responded, “No.”

  28. Manny says:

    David, you are getting as bad as Bill and Jason, with your lies.

    You did not the research for me. I asked you, how many is “Many”?

    One example does not answer the question.

    Don’t make it out as racist, when it is people like you, Bill, and Jason that have problems with minorities.

    The problem with stupid people and you fall in that category is that you take one example and make the argument that it applies to all.

    I don’t know much about the debate and don’t know if I want to get involved in it. But I know what I don’t know, you, David Fagan, do not know what you don’t know.

    I would include Bill and Jason in that category that I have placed you.

    Confucius

    “He Who Knows And Knows That He Knows Is A Wise Man – Follow Him;
    He Who Knows Not And Knows Not That He Knows Not Is A Fool – Shun Him”

    ― Confucius, The Analects

  29. Manny says:

    David, you do have your opinion and have lodged it but as the old saying goes;

    Below is a quote on opinions from Clint Eastwood in one of his Dirty Harry movies. It is only ten seconds long.

    https://youtu.be/D2_AiQLCb3U

  30. Manny says:

    David, below are four transgender teenagers who do not win competitions against girls.

    One more time, David, how many is “many”?

    https://www.outsports.com/2019/12/3/20990763/trans-women-athlete-sports-winning-losing-transgender

  31. David Fagan says:

    I love you Manny

  32. […] here for some background; one of the speakers noted the recent threat by the NCAA as part of the case […]

  33. […] bill in question is HB4042, and it’s a companion of SB29, which you may recall was approved by the Senate last week. That bill was also referred to the House Public Education Committee, so one assumes that […]