Mary Elizabeth Castle of Texas Values says the group is “very grateful” to the Republican governor for signing HB 25 over vocal opposition from left-wing activists.
“Now we feel that girls all across Texas can feel free to play sports without being forced to compete against biological males,” says Castle, “where they would be forced to lose precious championships or scholarship opportunities."
The conservative activists at Texas Values, which is headquartered in Austin, walked the halls of the state Capitol daily urging state legislators to support the legislation it helped draft. The law requires students to play public sports according to the biological sex listed on their birth certificate.
“We saw that there was a need,” Castle recalls, “and we were there every day telling legislators how this was just common-sense legislation for them to pass, to make sure that biological males are not competing in girls' sports."
Opposition to the legislation was predictable, too, including from homosexual-rights groups that held rallies and attended floor debate in the House that went for 10 hours and turned nasty. According to KXAN, an Austin-based NBC News affiliate, state Rep. Julie Johnson accused GOP colleagues of causing the deaths of homosexual activists by pushing HB 25.
“Because the Texas Legislature has been pursuing these bills,” the lawmaker said during debate, “150% increase in suicide has occurred in the LGBTQ community, predominantly of transgendered kids, because their government does not care about them.”
Parents of transgender children testified before a House committee and said legislators were harming the legal rights and mental health of their mentally confused children.
According to the left-leaning Texas Tribune, state legislators were also pressured by Big Business to oppose the bill. A group called Texas Competes that includes mega-corporations Amazon and Microsoft opposed the bill, the newspaper reported. Most major corporations are publicly aligned with homosexual-rights groups, which means Gov. Abbott and state lawmakers were likely pressured to oppose HB 25 it they wanted to ensure a welcoming and business-friendly environment.
In the end, however, the Texas Senate passed the legislation 19-12 and it passed in the House 76-54.
Lawsuits are expected but Castle predicts any suit the opposition brings will “probably be weak” after a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, which favored homosexual rights in employment, did not extend that to sports teams.