On Thursday, the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act was passed by the House. This bill seeks to amend Title IX, in order to prohibit men from participating in school sports competitions meant for women.
No Democrat voted in favor of the measure, which passed 219 to 203.
The bill would clarify that in the Education Amendments of 1972, the term “sex” as mentioned under the Title IX section “shall be recognized based solely on a person’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth.”
The bill would work to withhold funding from schools receiving federal financial assistance should they violate Title IX by allowing transgender athletes to compete in sports programs designed for the opposite sex.
“It’s about muscle mass and it’s about fairness,” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said at a press conference flanked by colleagues and three female student athletes who had been forced to compete against men and lost out on opportunities because of it.
The introduction of this legislation follows the recent efforts by President Joe Biden’s Department of Education to allow men who say they are women into women’s athletics through a Title IX rule proposal.
While it is unlikely that the bill will progress in the Senate, the Biden administration has stated that if the bill were to reach the president’s desk, he would veto it.
The White House contended the bill “targets people for who they are and therefore is discriminatory.”
“Transgender youth already face a nationwide mental health crisis,” the White House stated.
House Republican Conference chair Rep. Elise Stefanik said that regardless of Biden’s position, Republicans “are going to continue driving this agenda, and we’re going to win in 2024 to pass this into law.”
Stefanik joined roughly 20 other Republican women the morning of the bill’s passage to celebrate their efforts to preserve female competition in sports.
One of the women, Rep. Lisa McClain, has been an outspoken advocate on the issue and frequently elevates and encourages Riley Gaines, who rose to prominence after tying with male athlete Lia Thomas in a collegiate national swimming championship.
“Listen, I am a live and let live person. You can be whatever you want to be,” McClain said. “You want to be transgender? That’s your right, but what about my rights? What about the rights of my daughters? That is where we have lost our minds.”