The House of Republicans passed legislation Thursday that would ban transgender women and girls from competing in female school athletics.
According to Merriam-Webster, transgender means, being a person whose gender identity differs from the sex the person had or was identified as having at birth. The bill, authored by Rep. Greg Steube, R-Fla., would amend Title IX to bar schools that receive federal funding from allowing people “whose sex is male” to participate in sports designated for women or girls. The bill specifically calls for prohibiting recipients of federal financial assistance that operate athletic activities from allowing transgender women and girls to participate on female sports teams. The sponsor, Rep. Greg Steube, R-Fla., highlighted the case of Emma Weyant, a resident of his district and a 2020 member of the U.S. Olympic swimming team who finished second in the NCAA women’s 500-yeard freestyle championship last year. She was defeated by Lia Thomas, who had competed for three years on the University of Pennsylvania men’s swimming team before joining the women’s team. Steube said, “The integrity of women’s sports must be protected.”
Democrats said that every child, regardless of gender identity, deserves the opportunity to belong to a team. Preventing competitors from doing so sends the message that they don’t matter.
The White House expressed its position. The White House said that being part of a team is an important part of growing up, staying engaged in school, and learning leadership and life skills. It said a national ban that does not account for competitiveness or grade level targets people for who they are and is discriminatory.