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Law

Sports Stars Petition Congress For Transgender Rights

  • 40 women’s sports athletes signed a letter opposing a federal ban of transgender girls playing women’s sports.
  • All three branches of government are involved.
Jan 30, 2023; Washington, DC, USA; The United States Capitol in Washington, DC on Monday, January 30, 2023.
Jack Gruber-USA TODAY

Megan Rapinoe, Sue Bird, Becky Sauerbrunn, Jessica Mendoza, and more than 30 other women’s sports athletes signed a letter to Congress opposing a federal bill that would ban transgender girls from playing women’s sports in school.

“Every single child should have access to the lifesaving power of sports,” the letter, submitted on Monday by advocacy group Athlete Ally, read. “If this bill passes, transgender and intersex girls and women throughout the country will be forced to sit on the sidelines, away from their peers and their communities.”

The bill the letter addresses, called the “Protection of Girls and Women in Sports Act,” would enshrine the ban into the language of the Title IX statute — originally passed to protect against sex discrimination in educational settings.

The bill has the support of more than 40 House Republicans and was debated during a hearing in March. Athlete Ally is one of many advocacy groups vehemently opposed to it — as are many liberal lawmakers like those in the Congressional Equity Caucus.

All three branches of Congress are involved in the debate. 

The Biden administration publicized its response through the Department of Education. Last week, the federal body issued a draft of guidelines which would prohibit “blanket” bans on transgender girls in sports but would allow bans in certain circumstances.

On the same day that the Biden Administration submitted its proposal, the Supreme Court upheld the right of a 12-year-old transgender girl to participate in girls’ track and field in West Virginia.

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