Representative Tulsi Gabbard, a Hawaii Democrat, introduced the “Protect Women’s Sports Act” to Congress. The bill bars schools from receiving funding if they allow transgender girls, women, and non-binary people to play on sports teams consistent with their gender identities. The bill has been met with disapproval from LGBTQ activists.
In a statement, Gabbard and Republican Representative Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma said that Title XI protections for female athletes are “based on biological sex.” According to HuffPost, Title IX protects individuals from being discriminated against based on their gender through government-funded educational programs. The bill stops schools from receiving funds if they permit “a person whose biological sex at birth is male to participate in an athletic program or activity that is designated for women or girls.”
Gabbard, who claims to be a supporter of LGBTQ rights, said she wants to protect Title IX intent.
“Title IX was a historic provision… to provide equal opportunity for women and girls in high school and college sports. It’s lead to a generational shift that impacted countless women, creating life-changing opportunities for girls and women that never existed before,” Gabbard said. “However, Title IX is being weakened by some states who are misinterpreting Title IX, creating uncertainty, undue hardship, and lost opportunities for female athletes. It is critical that the legacy of Title IX continues to ensure women and girls in sports have the opportunity to compete and excel on a level playing field.”
Not everyone is pleased by the legislation.
“Remember when Tulsi Gabbard tried to convince us she was an LGBTQ ally? We knew she was a liar, a fraud,” Zeke Strokes, the former chief programs officer of GLAAD said.
Gabbard received backlash in the past from LGBTQ activists. Last year, homophobic remarks that she made in 2004 surfaced. Gabbard called the LGBTQ community and same-sex marriage supporters “homosexual extremists.” She apologized to the community in a statement made to HuffPost.
A similar bill was introduced in the Senate by Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler of Georgia.