AUSTIN (KXAN) — A controversial law requiring Texas public school athletes to play sports based on their biological sex at birth takes effect Tuesday. Texas is the 10th state to pass this type of legislation.
The legislation died several times during regular legislative session in 2021 before passing the House and Senate during the third special session.
Supporters of the law previously said it would protect female sports, while opponents said the legislation has mental health consequences for transgender athletes. The rule book for the University Interscholastic League, Texas’ governing body for public school athletics, states an athlete’s gender will be determined by an official birth certificate.
The UIL expects individual school districts to enforce the law, according to the Texas Tribune.
An 11-year-old Texas girl was named a finalist for Time Kid of the Year after she testified against bills during the 2021 legislative session that would affect transgender Texans.
“I started my activism because I thought it was unfair how they were treating us,” Kai Shappley told KXAN’s Will DuPree in an interview Tuesday. “We’ve seen a lot of what’s going on multiple times in history, and it’s just history repeating itself over and over. It’s terrible, so I started speaking out because I wanted that to stop.”
House Bill 25 was signed by Gov. Greg Abbott in October.