Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) introduced a bill with Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) on Thursday which would restrict federal funds from going to schools that allow boys and men to compete against girls and women in sports.
Gabbard and Mullin described the legislation, entitled the Protect Women’s Sports Act, as an extension of Title IX civil rights protections to girls and women. In a joint statement, they wrote:
Since its creation, Title IX has been confronted by various challenges, often resulting in nuanced or situational solutions to the circumstances. This has included considering the fairness of an individual of one sex to play on a team designated for another sex when no such team is available to the individual, such as women’s field hockey or men’s football. This bill protects the sex-based intention of Title IX protections by reaffirming the biological sex-based distinctions between men and women in athletics.
Gabbard and Mullin added, “Given the average difference in abilities conferred by biological sex, this bill would clarify Title IX protections for female athletes is based on biological sex.”
Title IX’s provision of “equal opportunity for women and girls in high school and college sports” is being “weakened” by the allowance of boys and men to compete against them, said Gabbard, emphasizing “the general biological distinction between men and women athletes based on sex.”
The Protect Women’s Sports Act will “ensure women and girls in sports have the opportunity to compete and excel on a level playing field,” Gabbard held.
Title IX was designed to give women and girls an equal chance to succeed, including in sports. Allowing biological males to compete in women’s sports diminishes that equality and takes away from the original intent of Title IX. As the father of three girls involved in athletics, I want them to be able to compete on a level playing field. I am proud to lead this bill that will safeguard the integrity of women’s sports and ensure female athletes can compete fairly.
HuffPost noted Title IX’s link to federal funds:
Title IX protects people from discrimination based on sex in educational programs that receive federal financial assistance. The new bill would bar schools from receiving such funds if they permit “a person whose biological sex at birth is male to participate in an athletic program or activity that is designated for women or girls.”
Left-wing and news media and political figures derided the proposed legislation as “anti-transgender” and “transphobic”:
DESPICABLE!!!! Hawaii Democrat Tulsi Gabbard has drafted a House bill that would bar schools from receiving federal funds if they allow transgender girls and women to compete in women's sports. https://t.co/qYFo11oQfu
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) December 11, 2020
Tulsi Gabbard has introduced legislation that would bar federal funding to schools that allow transgender girls, women & non-binary people to compete on sports teams consistent w/ their gender identity.
This is “blatantly transphobic” and unacceptable. https://t.co/p7QDuyR2n5
— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) December 11, 2020
Tulsi Gabbard introduces anti-transgender bill after claiming to be LGBTQ-friendly https://t.co/PXK5sxZBqt
— Jon Cooper 🇺🇸 (@joncoopertweets) December 11, 2020
.@TulsiGabbard joins a long line of transphobic legislators and advocates who have tried to use Title IX to advance gender discrimination.
This bill is blatantly transphobic and unacceptable. https://t.co/lx8vQDD0cP
— Know Your IX (@knowyourIX) December 11, 2020
People are starving and getting evicted and we're in the middle of pandemic and Tulsi Gabbard is ::checks notes:: introducing legislation to strip away the rights of transgender athletes
— Evan Greer (@evan_greer) December 11, 2020
Tulsi Gabbard, who began her political career condemning "homosexual extremists," is using her last few weeks in Congress to try to strip federal funds from schools that let transgender women and girls participate in teams for women and girls. @dmosbergen:https://t.co/KSC4gaiFez
— Akbar Shahid Ahmed (@AkbarSAhmed) December 11, 2020
Tulsi Gabbard is scum and her weird online cult of supporters are scum too. https://t.co/9VwjOZ7bXA
— Matthew Chapman (@fawfulfan) December 11, 2020