Media Contact

Kristi Gross, [email protected]

May 17, 2023

AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas House voted today to advance Senate Bill 15, which will ban transgender athletes from participating in sports in Texas public colleges and universities according to their gender.

The following quote can be attributed to Andrea Segovia (she/her), Senior Field and Policy Advisor, Transgender Education Network of Texas:

“Texas lawmakers have made it a priority to target transgender youth in every aspect of their life. Every session there is a new attack, and today’s attack is an extension of last session’s sports ban that allows hate and discrimination to follow trans kids from childhood through their collegiate years. Trans Texans should be free to enjoy hobbies in public and pursue careers like every other Texan. The Texas Legislature prioritizes trans discrimination and hate while trans folks are simply trying to exist. Enough is enough.”

The following quote can be attributed to Ricardo Martinez (he/him), CEO at Equality Texas:

“Trans people belong in sports—just like they belong in the arts, in tech, and in political office. Trans people belong. Period. This bill is just one in a slate of bills that target trans Texans and attempt to remove them from public life. The vote today is a harsh reminder that some lawmakers are more dedicated to their own hatred than they are to our collective freedom. This is a great loss for sports teams across the state who are losing great athletes, teammates, and friends. History will not remember this moment kindly. Excluding a whole group of people, solely based on their identities, is unacceptable. Whether or not lawmakers deny that trans people exist, our community remains a strong, valuable part of this state.”

The following quote can be attributed to Ash Hall (they/them), Policy & Advocacy Strategist at the ACLU of Texas:

“Our hearts break for young transgender Texans who have been viciously targeted by state lawmakers for the second time this week. Trans athletes deserve to experience the benefits of playing sports, just like their peers. S.B. 15 categorically bans transgender students from being able to play sports in public universities as their authentic selves and puts Texas on a collision course with NCAA rules and proposed Title IX regulations. This is also a nonsensical bill that allows anyone who is aggrieved by a sports competition to sue Texas public universities. This extreme government overreach harms everyone in our state, especially transgender Texans, and we all deserve better.”

The following quote can be attributed to Melodía Gutiérrez (she/her), Texas State Director for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC):

“S.B. 15 is yet another invasive, impractical measure mandated by the Texas legislature to ‘fix’ a problem that does not exist. Every student deserves the same chances to engage in sportsmanship, self-discipline, and teamwork, and to build a sense of belonging with their peers. We should not discriminate against or ban any student from playing because they’re transgender. Despite what the bill’s supporters say, advocates for women and girls in sports, like the National Women’s Law Center, the Women’s Sports Foundation, and Women Leaders in Collegiate Sports, support trans-inclusive policies and oppose efforts to exclude transgender students.”

The following quote can be attributed to Shelly Skeen (she/her), Senior Attorney, Lambda Legal:

“S.B. 15 directly targets transgender collegiate athletes and prevents them from having equal access to the same opportunities and benefits that cisgender collegiate athletes have, even though transgender athletes have been participating in collegiate sports with their cisgender counterparts since the early 2000s without incident. The purpose and effect of this law is to deprive and exclude transgender collegiate athletes. Excluding transgender athletes from sports competition harms all collegiate athletes as well as the student body as a whole by depriving students of the full extent of the college experience.”

The following quote can be attributed to Imelda Mejia (she/her), Director of Communications at Texas Freedom Network:

“Texas lawmakers are directly endangering transgender athletes by pushing S.B. 15 to become law. All Texas students deserve an equal opportunity to thrive, and that includes being represented in sports according to their gender identity. This level of government intrusion into our personal lives is deeply frightening. S.B. 15 might be a step closer to becoming law, but transgender lives can never be erased. Our communities will find love and support within each other as advocacy groups work to remove hateful politicians from office who are enacting laws that harm Texans and their loved ones.”

If you or someone you know needs mental health resources or support, please visit:
—Trans Lifeline at (877) 565-8860 or
—Trevor Project at 866-488-7386 or