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Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) and Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) have introduced a bill to Congress that would “protect women’s sports” based on participants’ biological sex, according to reports.
The “Protect Women’s Sports Act” seeks to clarify that Title IX protections for female athletes are “based on biological sex,” Gabbard and Mullin said in a statement.
Title IX protects individuals from discrimination based on sex in educational programs or activities that receive federal funding.
“Title IX was a historic provision championed by Hawaii’s own Congresswoman Patsy Mink in order to provide equal opportunity for women and girls in high school and college sports,” Gabbard said in her statement.
“It led to a generational shift that impacted countless women, creating life-changing opportunities for girls and women that never existed before,” she said.
“However, Title IX is being weakened by some states who are misinterpreting Title IX, creating uncertainty, undue hardship and lost opportunities for female athletes,” Gabbard continued.
“Our legislation protects Title IX’s original intent which was based on the general biological distinction between men and women athletes based on sex,” she added.
Mullin said that “Title IX was designed to give women and girls an equal chance to succeed, including in sports,” adding that “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,” he added.
The legislation would prohibit schools from receiving federal funding 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.”
Transgender activists and their allies promptly slammed the legislation, which they described as “blatantly transphobic.”
“Tulsi Gabbard is now introducing a blatantly transphobic piece of legislation aimed at trans and non-binary young people,” civil rights activist Charlotte Clymer said in a tweet.
“Remember when Tulsi Gabbard tried to convince us she was an LGBTQ ally? We knew she was a liar, a fraud,” wrote Zeke Stokes, former chief programs officer of LGBTQ rights group GLAAD.