In a stunning rebuke of the Biden Administration, the GOP-led House of Representatives passed a bill on Thursday that would ban transgender athletes from competing in women’s and girls’ sports at federally funded schools and educational institutions.
In a strictly party-line vote of 219-203, the House passed the “Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act”, a bill that seeks to amend federal law to require “sex shall be recognized based solely on a person’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth”, when it comes to Title IX in athletics.
The bill, which is not expected to have a chance of passing the Democrat-controlled Senate, seeks to prohibit transgender women and girls from playing on sports teams consistent with their gender identity.
Republicans have argued that transgender women hold a physical advantage over cisgender women in sports and that their participation could limit opportunities for others. GOP Rep. Greg Stube of Florida, who introduced the bill, tweeted that the Biden Administration “has turned their backs on female athletes.”
Democrats, however, have argued that policies to restrict transgender athletes’ participation in team sports add to the discrimination that trans people face, particularly trans youth.
Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan of Wisconsin said in a statement that “trans kids deserve the right to be equal members of their school communities, learn sportsmanship, and challenge themselves outside of the classroom, including by participating in school sports.”
The White House responded to the House vote with a veto threat, saying that “discrimination has no place in our nation’s schools or on our playing fields.”
The Biden Administration has also taken other steps to address transgender athletes’ participation in sports, proposing a new federal rule change earlier this month that would allow for schools to enforce some restrictions on transgender student-athletes, while opposing policies that “categorically” ban those students from participating on sports teams consistent with their gender.
Despite the White House’s opposition to the bill, Republican-led states across the country are continuing to push a variety of anti-trans measures, including bills intended to keep transgender students from playing on sports teams consistent with their gender identity.
The American Civil Liberties Union is tracking more than 450 anti-LGBTQ bills in the U.S., as the GOP continues to spotlight the issue in a bid to undermine the rights of LGBTQIA students.