On Thursday, the Republican-led House passed legislation that would bar schools and colleges that receive federal funding from permitting men and boys from competing on girls’ or women’s sports teams, which the White House has already vowed to veto, CBS News reported.
The Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act was passed along party lines, 219 to 203, with no Democrats voting in favor. The legislation is unlikely to go anywhere in the Democrat-controlled Senate and the White House has already said that President Biden will veto it.
The bill would prohibit schools receiving federal funding from allowing a male to participate in athletic programs or activities “designed for women or girls.” It defines a person’s gender as “based solely” on “reproductive biology and genetics at birth.”
Florida Republican Rep. Greg Steube, the bill’s sponsor, highlighted the case of Florida athlete Emma Weyant who finished in second place in the NCAA women’s 500-yard freestyle championship in 2022 after being defeated by “Lia” Thomas, the male swimmer from the University of Pennsylvania.
Stuebe argued that Congress must protect “the integrity of women’s sports.”
Supporters said the bill is necessary to support female athletes from the unfair advantage of having to compete against males. Opponents claimed that the legislation was a political ploy that would further marginalize “transgenders.”
The action of House Republicans comes as around 20 states have enacted similar legislation barring males from competing in female sports at the K-12 or collegiate level.
In a statement threatening a veto, the White House described the bill as discriminatory and said that a national ban on males playing in female athletics that fails to account for competitiveness or grade level will target people who identify as transgender.
The Biden Department of Education recently proposed a new rule to Title IX that would prevent schools or colleges receiving federal funding from imposing a “one-size-fits-all” policy banning males from competing in female athletics.