Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, introduced a bill on Thursday that would specify that Title IX protections are applied based on a person's biological sex, meaning transgender athletes who were determined to be males at birth would be barred from participating in women's sports.
The bipartisan Protect Women's Sports Act, which was co-sponsored by Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., would prevent federally-funded institutions from permitting "a person whose biological sex at birth is male to participate in an athletic program or activity that is designated for women or girls," according to Sports Illustrated.
"This bill protects the sex-based intention of Title IX protections by reaffirming the biological sex-based distinctions between men and women in athletics," a press release reads.
Gabbard said that "Title IX is being weakened by some states who are misinterpreting Title IX, creating uncertainty, undue hardship and lost opportunities for female athletes." She explained that her bill protects the "original intent" of Title IX, which was passed as part of the Education Amendments of 1972.
"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," said Mullin.
The NCAA currently allows transgender women to participate in women's sports, but Sports Illustrated notes that various branches of the government have made moves to stop them from doing so. A similar piece of legislation, the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act, was proposed in late September by Sens. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., Tom Cotton, R-Ark., and three other GOP lawmakers, Newsweek reports.
Gabbard, who ran for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination during the 2020 election cycle, has often broken with other members of her party. She did not run for reelection to the House of Representatives and will be succeeded by Democrat Kai Kahele in January.
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