Senators Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), Mike Lee (R-UT), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), James Lankford (R-OK), and Tom Cotton (R-AR) recently introduced a bill that will protect female athletes of all ages from being forced to complete against biological men.
The issue has galvanized an unlikely coalition of women, from feminists to pro-family, pro-life advocates, who have teamed up with female athletes fighting against the transgender movement that believes “gender identity” and not biological sex should be the standard for competition in sports.
The bill also is tied to Title IX, the federal statute that prevents discrimination against women in sports because of their biological sex.
The Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act would “make it a violation of Title IX for a school that receives federal education funds to permit a biological male to participate in a sports program designated for women and girls.”
Loeffler posted information about the bill and sponsors comments about why they support the bill on her website:
Under Loeffler’s bill, schools that allow biological males to compete against women and girls in sports – disrupting the goals established by Title IX – would be in danger of losing federal funding. For example, a high-profile case in Connecticut resulted in two biological males winning 15 women’s track championship titles previously held by nine women. One of these males set a first-place record for the women’s track event, which would have been 140th place in men’s track. The males also prevented the women from advancing to regional meets, taking away an opportunity for the women to compete in front of college scouts.
“Title IX established a fair and equal chance for women and girls to compete, and sports should be no exception,” Loeffler said. “As someone who learned invaluable life lessons and built confidence playing sports throughout my life, I’m proud to lead this legislation to ensure girls of all ages can enjoy those same opportunities.
“This commonsense bill protects women and girls by safeguarding fairness and leveling the athletic field that Title IX guarantees,” Loeffler said.
“Men and women are biologically different,” Lee said. “That’s just a scientific fact. For the safety of female athletes and for the integrity of women’s sports, we must honor those differences on a fair field of competition.”
“Maintaining the integrity of healthy competition is crucial for the future of women and girls in sports,” Blackburn said. “Schools and universities that allow males to participate in women’s sports defeats the purpose of Title IX.”
“When Title IX was passed and signed into law, the intent was to ensure equal access for men and women in education, including sports,” Lankford said. “Permitting biological males to participate in women’s sports rejects the very spirit of Title IX, which was intended to create an equal playing field for women and girls. This bill upholds and reiterates congressional intent and promotes actual equality for women and girls in sports by respecting the dignity of biological female athletes across the nation.”
“At their best, sports teach our kids fundamental lessons about fairness and integrity in a safe environment—but there’s nothing fair, honest or safe about allowing men to compete in sports leagues designed solely for women,” Cotton said. “This bill will preserve the sports leagues and teams that allow women and girls to excel as athletes.
“And it will defend the commonsense principle that women’s sports are for women,” Cotton said. “It’s tragic but unsurprising that such a defense is necessary.”
“Women’s sports are under severe threat in 2020,” Terry Schilling, executive director of American Principles Project, said. “Despite the radical Left’s attempts at gaslighting, this is indisputable.”
“Allowing boys to play on girls’ sports teams is unfair and it poses increased physical risk to girls, particularly at the high school and college levels,” Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said.
“As a mother of a young girl, I never want to see my daughter out-competed or endangered by policies allowing biological males onto women’s sports teams,” Jessica Anderson, executive director of Heritage Action for America, said. “And I am not alone.”
“The American people oppose the extremists who want to force ideology on the nation at the expense of women and girls,” Anderson said.
The legislation is also supported by Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee, Family Policy Alliance, Independent Women’s Forum, and Save Women’s Sports.
NBC reported on the legislation and found critics of the effort:
Dawn Ennis, a transgender woman and managing editor of OutSports, said Loeffler and her colleagues are simply pandering in an election year.
“They think there are so few, or no trans athletes in their states, and this is just shoring up support,” Ennis said. “They’ll get re-elected, no doubt. But this is just chum being thrown at the sharks.”
“These groups don’t care about sports or women’s rights,” ACLU transgender rights advocate Chase Strangio said in a statement. “They’re opportunistically looking for ways to attack trans people, and in the process, hurting all women and girls.”
President Donald Trump’s Department of Education last week announced that Connecticut would lose desegregation funding if it did not end biological men being allowed to compete against females.
“The department’s Office for Civil Rights told school districts in New Haven, Hartford and southeast Connecticut that it would withhold some $18 million due to be disbursed Oct. 1 if they didn’t sever ties with the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, which allows students to participate in sex-segregated sports that align with their gender identity,” NBC reported. “According to a letter from the office obtained by The Associated Press, the conference’s policy has “denied female student-athletes athletic benefits and opportunities” including medals, recognition and access to college scholarships.”
Follow Penny Starr on Twitter