A group of Republican senators introduced a bill this week to prevent biological men who might identify as transgender women from competing in women’s sports.
Sens. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga.; Mike Lee, R-Utah; Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.; Tom Cotton, R-Ark.; and James Lankford, R-Okla., rolled out the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act on Tuesday to make sure that women have equal access to athletic opportunities.
Under the bill, any school that allows biological males to participate in women’s athletics would have its Title IX funding stripped.
“Title IX established a fair and equal chance for women and girls to compete, and sports should be no exception,” Loeffler, who owns part of a Women’s National Basketball Association team, said in a statement.
“As someone who learned invaluable life lessons and built confidence playing sports throughout my life, I’m proud to lead this legislation to ensure girls of all ages can enjoy those same opportunities,” she continued. “This commonsense bill protects women and girls by safeguarding fairness and leveling the athletic field that Title IX guarantees.”
The senators cited a recent lawsuit filed in Connecticut by three young female athletes, who alleged that they were barred from competing in their own events because the biological males who had been allowed to compete alongside them swept several track and field events.
Two transgender students at the girls’ school took “more than 85 opportunities to participate in higher-level competitions from female track athletes” from 2017 to 2019, according to the lawsuit.
“Men and women are biologically different,” Lee said.
“That’s just a scientific fact,” he continued. “For the safety of female athletes and for the integrity of women’s sports, we must honor those differences on a fair field of competition.”
Blackburn pointed out that Title IX is worthless if it cannot protect women from discrimination on their own sports teams.
“Maintaining the integrity of healthy competition is crucial for the future of women and girls in sports,” she said. “Schools and universities that allow males to participate in women’s sports defeats the purpose of Title IX.”