The Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed legislation on Thursday that effectively would ban transgender women and girls from competing in female school athletics. The Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act, which would bar federal funding for schools that allow transgender girls to play on women’s sports teams, passed the House by a 219-203 vote.
Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities that receive funding from the federal government, and applies to schools and other educational institutions. According to the legislative text. the bill passed by the House, authored by Rep. Greg Steube, R-Fla., would amend Title IX to prohibit transgender women and girls from playing on sports teams consistent with their gender identity. It seeks to amend federal law to require that “sex shall be recognized based solely on a person’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth,” for the purpose of determining compliance with Title IX in athletics. The text of the bill says it would a violation “for a recipient of federal financial assistance who operates, sponsors, or facilitates athletic programs or activities to permit a person whose sex is male to participate in an athletic program or activity that is designed for women or girls.”
The bill is unlikely to pass the Democratic-controlled Senate, however, and President Biden said Monday that he would veto the bill was it to reach his desk: “Politicians should not dictate a one-size-fits-all requirement that forces coaches to remove kids from their teams. At a time when transgender youth already face a nationwide mental health crisis, with half of transgender youth in a recent survey saying they have seriously considered suicide, a national law that further stigmatizes these children is completely unnecessary.”
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