Texas Legislators to Discuss Rights of Transgender Youth in Third Special Session

Texas Legislators to Discuss Rights of Transgender Youth in Third Special Session

Texas legislators will start their third special session next week, during which they will discuss topics such as transgender student participation in sports and gender-affirming health care for trans youth.

One proposed bill would only allow children in grades K-12 to play sports that correspond with their sex assigned at birth or the sex designated on their original birth certificate.

According to ABC News, about 30 states in the U.S. have introduced similar bans on trans student-athletes. Only eight states have passed laws on a ban.

The law is facing challenges from critics in Arkansas, Florida, Tennessee and West Virginia.

However, proponents of the ban say the ban would prevent teams from having an unfair advantage.

"The issue is about the basic fairness and opportunities that women have fought for centuries to obtain," the Christian group Concerned Women for America said in a statement to ABC News. "The disparity comes when forcing women to compete against a biological male that has innate biological differences, giving them physical advantages that simply cannot be erased."

Texas lawmakers will also consider bills that could ban gender-affirming therapy, counseling, surgery or health care. In one proposal, allowing a child or teen under the age of 18 to enter gender-affirming health care support could be considered child abuse.

"Like any other student, trans young people just want to stay healthy, go to school and spend time with their friends and loved ones," Andy Marra, the executive director of the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, told ABC News. "For transgender students living in states where their very lives are under attack, it can be near impossible to focus on much else but surviving."

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, young transgender students are three times more likely to attempt suicide than their peers.

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Natasaadzic

Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.