House Republicans are planning to hold a vote on legislation aimed at preventing biological males from competing in women’s and girls’ sports in schools and universities across the country. The Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act was introduced by Rep. Greg Steube, a Florida Republican who argues that biological males should not be allowed to compete against females in athletic programs or activities.
Last week, NCAA champion swimmer and spokesperson for the Independent Women’s Forum, Riley Gaines, was physically assaulted by protesters while advocating against transgender female athletes competing against biological female athletes at San Francisco State University. Gaines has voiced her support for Steube’s bill stating, “As an athlete who has experienced the injustice of competing against a male firsthand, I’m grateful for the leadership of Representative Steube. He has made it clear that he will fight for fairness, privacy, and safety for girls and women in sports.” .
Gaines has also accused U.S. women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe of ‘virtue signaling’ after Rapinoe signed on to a letter to House lawmakers which opposed the bill. The letter from the group Athlete Ally, which refers to itself as an LGBTQ advocacy group, reads:
“We believe that gender equity in sport is critical, which is why we urge policymakers to turn their attention and effort to the causes women athletes have been fighting for decades, including equal pay, an end to abuse and mistreatment, uneven implementation of Title IX, and a lack of access and equity for girls of color and girls with disabilities, to name only a few.”
“Our deepest hope is that transgender and intersex kids will never have to feel the isolation, exclusion and othering that H.R. 734 is seeking to enshrine into law.”
The bill would prohibit institutions from permitting biological males to participate in athletic programs or activities intended for girls or women. An athlete’s sex would only be recognized based on their reproductive biology and genetics at birth. However, transgender female athletes would be permitted to train or practice with girls’ athletic programs if no biological female athlete is deprived of a roster spot.
Steube believes that his bill is necessary to combat “woke” policies that he argues are undermining the principles of Title IX, which was established to promote women’s sports.
The proposed legislation has sparked controversy and divided opinions. Supporters of the bill argue that allowing biological males to compete in female sports is unfair and disadvantages female athletes. They contend that females have inherent physical differences that give them a competitive disadvantage when competing against males. Opponents of the bill argue that it discriminates against transgender individuals and that athletes should be allowed to compete based on their gender identity rather than their biological sex.