The anti-LGBTQ American Principles Project has launched its first state chapter in the Lone Star State with the goal of mobilizing conservative Texas families in politics and fighting so-called “gender ideology” in schools. APP Texas’ first targets aren’t Democrats however; they’re Republicans. Gov. Greg Abbott and Republican legislators passed anti-trans legislation this fall that APP President Terry Schilling says doesn’t go far enough in discriminating against trans people.
Abbott signed House Bill 25 into law on Oct. 25, effectively preventing trans kids from playing on teams that correspond to their gender identity. The law requires kids to play on the sports teams corresponding to the sex assigned to them on their birth certificates, but it only applies to K-12 schools and does not include Texas colleges.
That’s likely a result of an NCAA statement made this spring. In April, as scores of anti-trans bills were introduced in state houses across the country, the NCAA released a statement supporting trans athletes and said the collegiate conference would only have games and tournaments in states “where hosts can commit to providing an environment that is safe, healthy and free of discrimination.”
Texas’ anti-trans law has been denounced by LGBTQ and civil rights groups that worry about the effect the law will have on trans kids.
But to Schilling, the law is weak.
“There’s no reason to thank Governor [Greg] Abbott for the bill he just signed with women’s sports. There’s no reason. It was a compromise. It was pathetic; it was weak,” Schilling told Texas Scorecard, the media project of the conservative advocacy group Empower Texans, in November. “The other [pro-family] groups in Texas don’t want to throw punches. They thank the governor for the scraps off the table that he gives them.”
In an email sent to supporters on Dec. 2, Schilling accused Texas politicians of caving to the NCAA while he spread misinformation about trans athletes.
Now, young women are being forced to compete in collegiate athletics against grown men who identify as women, and Texas’ lawmakers have refused to enact any form of protection.
But with YOUR help, American Principles Project will be able to protect these women and give Texas’ pro-family politicians the backing they need to stand up to the woke NCAA and change the law. …
Texas Republicans were busy patting themselves on the back for passing strict laws that “protected women’s sports” but in reality they really just caved to the NCAA. …
This type of weak-willed leadership is what our chapter is dedicated to changing. We will mobilize our activists to make calls, rally voters, and hold weak politicians accountable.
APP Texas’ efforts won’t be limited to anti-trans sports legislation. The chapter promises to “advocate on behalf of Texas families … on issues of special importance to the family, including opposing the imposition of critical race theory and gender ideology in schools, protecting children from the scourge of online pornography, and ending experimental ‘sex changes’ on children.”
APP has appointed Texas-based pastor Chris Hopper as the director of its Texas chapter.
The conservative culture-war organization was founded in 2009 to support the religious right’s anti-gay agenda. Right Wing Watch reported how in the past year APP and other religious-right organizations began attacking trans rights in earnest, spreading misinformation about trans people, and fearmongering about trans girls and women in sports in an apparent effort to mobilize conservatives for election.