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  • Caitlyn Burge-Surles

Fierce Protests Erupt in Denton at "Save Women's Sports Act" Signing

Credit: Andrew M. Greenstein @KRLDAndrewG

Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed the Save Women’s Sports Act into law at the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame in Denton at Texas Woman's University on Monday, garnering fierce protest from trans rights activists.

Senator Mayes Middleton, who introduced the Save Women’s Sports Act (submitted as Texas Senate Bill 649) in Texas’ 88th Legislative Session, was present at the signing and recorded the protesters’ actions on Twitter: “Welcome to the ‘tolerant left’ —spitting on us, throwing water on us and willing to get violent to oppose fairness in women’s sports, the save women’s sports act.”

The protesters held up posters and chanted “trans lives matter” and “there’s blood on your hands” in response to the enactment of the law. In the footage shared by Sen. Middleton, one male protester is shown throwing the contents of a water bottle at lawmakers and attendees passing by the crowd, which is an assault in the state of Texas and can be considered a felony if the assault is against a public servant.

Michelle Evans, a local Independent Woman’s Network chapter leader, asserted that water had also been thrown on her as she left the Hall of Fame building. "Somebody told me they know where I f---ing live. There was somebody that got in front of me to try to physically block me from going back inside and pushed her body up against mine. Somebody hit my arm, and then someone — a woman in a pink ski mask and sunglasses — spit into my open eye." Ms. Evans shared her footage here.

More footage shows a group of young girls with their mother on their way into the building being harassed with shouting and vulgar name calling by the protesters. A male protester is depicted shouting “you f---cking c--t” at an attendee.

Riley Gaines and Paula Scanlan, former NCAA Division 1 athletes who have testified publicly of their experience competing against male-to-female transgender athlete Lia Thomas, were present at the signing. Gaines said to Fox News regarding the signing "Today is a huge win and Gov. Abbott's leadership is foundational and I'm hopeful more states will follow suit."

The Save Women’s Sports Act, which requires athletes in public school sports to compete in the gender division they were born into, was cosponsored by Senators Charles Creighton, Phil King, Lois Kolkhorst, and Charles Perry. In a statement published by Sen. Middleton’s office on January 30th, Sen. Middleton is quoted as saying “Allowing biological males to compete in women’s sports erodes Title IX, a federal law that protects opportunities previously denied to women.”

A February poll conducted by the University of Houston’s Hobby School of Public Affairs indicates that Texans lean conservative on average pertaining to cultural gender issues. 65% of Texans, according to the poll, do not support changing a minor’s gender on their original birth certificate, and 57% revealed that they would support legislation labeling “gender-affirming care” as child abuse.

However, the Biden administration could apply legal pressure to the state of Texas following the implementation of the Save Women’s Sports Act. In April the administration put forth a possible Title IX amendment that would seek to protect transgender students’ ability to play on the team of their choice.


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