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 hypocrisy.”
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.
“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 protected.”
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.
“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.”
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 absolutely ridiculous.”
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.