The House of Representatives passed legislation along party lines Thursday that would interpret Title IX to prohibit male athletes from participating in scholastic athletic events designated specifically for female athletes.
Two hundred-nineteen Republicans voted in favor of the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act, introduced in February by Republican Florida Rep. Greg Steube. All 203 voting Democrats opposed the legislation. President Joe Biden has promised to veto the legislation, which would categorically ban male student-athletes from participating in events designated for female student-athletes. The White House issued a Title IX interpretation on April 11 that would prohibit “categorical” sex-based sporting events, but still allow some restrictions.
BREAKING: GOP House of Representatives passed ban on transgender girls from participating in womens sports in school.
219-203, along party lines.
A near unanimous message from the GOP. (And from Dems in response.)
But bill is DOA in Senate and POTUS has said he would veto. https://t.co/7kjZCSM7ib
— Lisa Desjardins (@LisaDNews) April 20, 2023
Female Republican representatives emphasized the importance of sports as a formative experience for girls and young women during a press conference held just before the vote.
“If you talk to women leaders today, so many had opportunities playing sports growing up,” Republican Conference chairwoman Elise Stefanik of New York said. Sports teaches important life skills, she noted, including “leadership, discipline, [and] teamwork.” (RELATED: Several Female Athletes Support GOP Ban On Men In Women’s Sports)
“I don’t care how many surgeries you have, how many chemicals you put in your body, that does not make you a biological woman,” Texas Rep. Beth Van Duyne added. The existence of the debate at all, Van Duyne said, “shows how stark raving mad leftists have perverted a simple subject.”
Democrats have framed the legislation as part of a Republican obsession with transgender individuals. Massachusetts Rep. Jim McGovern called the bill “creepy” and “cruel” while asserting that it is part of the GOP’s “trans bullying.”
Republican Tennessee Rep. Diana Harshbarger asserted that Democratic opposition is part of the Biden administration’s “war on women.”
“They’re coming after your girls,” she said.