Two Republicans joined nearly every House Democrat in sponsoring a bill that would allow male athletes who identify as transgender to compete in women’s athletics.
The Equality Act is currently being sponsored by 234 House Democrats and two Republicans. The bill would amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act to make “sexual orientation and gender identity” protected classes. The legislation has become a major priority of the new Democratic-led House, and is expected to pass the House of Representatives. (RELATED: Manchin Won’t Support ‘Equality Act’ Because He’s ‘Not Convinced’ It Will Be Properly Implemented)
The two Republicans co-sponsoring the bill are New York Rep. John Katko and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania.
Fitzpatrick and Katko are both moderate Republicans who narrowly survived the 2018 “Blue Wave” in their swing districts. Fitzpatrick won a close race last fall in his re-drawn Pennsylvania district and has frequently voted with Democrats on issues such as gun control and healthcare. He was also one of the earliest Republicans to declare his support for gay marriage. (RELATED: Here Are The Eight Republicans Who Voted For House Democrats’ Gun Control Bill)
Katko was also a top target for Democrats in 2018 and is expected to be again in 2020. Representing New York’s 24th Congressional District, which encompasses the Syracuse area, Katko has frequently voted against the Trump administration on immigration, budget issues, and LGBT issues.
The “Equality Act” is expected to easily pass the House, but is not expected to advance in the Senate, where Republicans hold a 53-47 majority.