The Texas anti-trans sports ban will likely die in the committee said Representative Harold Dutton, the Public Education Committee Chair on Wednesday.
Tuesday was a grueling night with the haters dissing trans youth as expected speaking first at the invitation of the bill’s sponsors. You can recognize the young ones by their britches hiked up to their armpits and the elders by their thousand-dollar suits. These aren’t your everyday Texans.
Rep. Dutton a Houston Democrat commented with a smile early on how he was pleased that the committee of six Democrats and seven Republicans was non-partisan. The bill’s sponsor left the room soon after.
“The bill is probably not going to make it out of committee,” Rep. Dutton told Hurst Newspaper Wednesday, in an article behind a paywall. “We just don’t have the votes for it…But I promised the author we would have a hearing, and we did.”
How did we get to this point again?
Lt. Gov Dan Patrick illegally strong-armed the University Interscholastic League into changing the rules after his anti-transgender bills failed in 2017. The UIL rules he emplaced closely resemble that of the sports ban. Previous to that the UIL followed the NCAA in conditionally allowing trans athletes to participate.
The bill’s sponsor wanted to codify those rules as they “can be easily changed”. What he meant was Texas was soon to be in court defending themselves as something so blatantly discriminatory is a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Of the 80 people registered to speak 70 spoke against it. These were a diverse cross-section of Texas, from Highschool students to battle-scarred seniors.
One exception was Log cabin Republican Michael Austin who spoke in support of the ban. Prior to that, he spent his time glaring angrily at me in the hallway as if to dare me to say something. This gay man, small of stature, wore a large firearm on his hip to testify at the Texas legislature, a fact not lost on all committee members.
My testimony began with recalling a young black female who joined my Army Platoon soon after the DOD opened my combat mos to women. I learned some important lessons from her. Gender doesn’t matter, size either. it was her heart that drove this soldier to succeed. As a half marathon runner, I spoke directly with Chairman Dutton. I never placed first in a chip-timed race. Instead I took home validation and strength of soul which is more important than a piece of gold.
When it was said and done we had disassembled every reason the bills sponsor had to offer. It clearly wasn’t about fairness or girls’ sports. It was about segregation, hate, and regression.
Last year, thousands of people from around the world virtually came together and ran a 5k to show LGBTQ+ young people that they are seen, that they belong, and that they have visible allies everywhere who love and accept them
And this year… we’re going to do it again! Registration opens up May 1, 2021.
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