On Wednesday, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce will hold the first hearing on a bill that could ban transgender women and girls from playing on women’s youth, high school, or college teams.
The bill, authored by Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL), would weaponize Title IX — the statute that prohibits gender discrimination in sports — against transgender women by adding language that redefines “sex” as “based solely on a person’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth.”
The “Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act” has been introduced on two other occasions in previous Congresses, but didn’t have legs.
This iteration, introduced in February to a Republican-controlled House, has the support of conservative advocacy groups and 43 House Republicans.
But it has been swiftly condemned by multiple women’s rights organizations, like the National Women’s Law Center. The Congressional Equality Caucus accused Republican lawmakers of pushing false narratives against transgender girls and women who want to play on women’s teams.
“This is not about girls’ and women’s sports; it’s about attacking trans kids,” Equality Caucus Chair Mark Pocan (D-WI) said in a statement. “This sports ban is just the opening salvo in their larger efforts to limit the rights of and demonize the LGBTQI+ community.”
In 18 states, lawmakers have succeeded in pushing through this type of legislation.