A Texas lawmaker
slammed protests that erupted at the ceremonial signing of the Save
Women’s Sports Act at Texas Women’s University in Denton last week,
calling demands for tolerance amid heated demonstrations a “horrific
Republican state Sen. Tan Parker, a co-author of Senate Bill 15,
was present during the Aug. 7 ceremonial signing of the new piece of
legislation that restricts participation in women’s sports at colleges
and universities in the state to an individual’s biological gender.
Sen. Tan Parker, left,
and Sen. Bryan Hughes talk in the Senate chamber at the Capitol before
the Senate was expected consider the rules for the impeachment of
Attorney General Ken Paxton June 20, 2023. (Jay Janner/American-Statesman/USA Today Network)
“It’s vitally important that we in Texas lead on such a critical issue,” Parker told Fox News Digital in an interview.
“What we are talking about here is the protection of women’s sports,
allowing the sacredness of girls to be able to compete freely and fairly
against one another. That’s been an honored tradition for many, many
decades in this country, and it needs to continue to be supported and
Texas is among at least 20 states that have passed similar legislation. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott previously signed into law a bill in 2021 that placed similar restrictions on girls sports in grades K-12.
“I don’t view this as something that is just happening occasionally,” Parker added.
The Texas State Capitol in Austin May 23, 2023. (Jordan Vonderhaar/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
“I think this is why we took action, is to be proactive. It’s very
important that we get ahead of what’s happening here and that we protect
all of our female athletes here in Texas and send a message to the rest of the country that this is not going to be tolerated in Texas, and other states should follow.”
Gov. Greg Abbott speaks during a bill signing ceremony for Senate Bill 15 at the Texas Capitol June 15, 2023. (Mikala Compton/American-Statesman/USA Today Network)
Independent Women’s Network’s Austin chapter leader Michelle Evans
told Fox News Digital after the event she was assaulted when she left
the building to observe the protest, attended by a crowd of about 250.
Evans said water was thrown at her, and she was physically blocked
from trying to return to the building. She also said one protester, who
was later apprehended, had spit into her eye.
Sen. Parker said he witnessed a similar scene as he left the signing
and took specific issue with the aggression shown toward young girls
that were invited guests.
“I’m all about someone exercising their constitutional rights
to protest. Fine. Picket, carry signs, shout your position, all those
things. But when you cross a line, and you throw bottles — glass bottles
— at one of my colleagues in particular. When you are spitting on
children. You’re spitting on elected officials. You’re spitting on
people that were a part of it – it’s absolutely horrific.
“The hostility wasn’t merely a disagreement or a protest. The
supporters of female athletes, including the young girls, faced all
kinds of intimidation and even these physical threats with the activists
throwing bottles and spitting on attendees.”
“And to me, beyond that, there’s this horrific hypocrisy. These
extremists who were shouting slogans demanding tolerance were the same
ones turning to violence when faced with opposing views. It was
Senate Bill 15 was previously signed in June. Twenty-two states have
passed similar legislation that restricts transgender athletes to
participating in sports based on their biological gender.