OAN Sophia Flores
UPDATED 7:10 PM – Thursday, April 20, 2023
The House passed a bill aimed at preventing biological males from competing on female sports teams. This bill applies to transgender athletes across the country.
On Thursday, The Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act passed in a 219-203 vote. All of the “yes” votes came from Republicans and all of the “no” votes came from Democrats.
Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) spoke outside of the Capitol after the party line vote.
“This is a great day for America, and a great day for girls and women, and for fairness in sports,” McCarthy said. “House Republicans pledged before the last election or commitment to American women and girls in sports. Today we kept that,” he added.
Supporters of the legislation argued that female athletes are at a disadvantage when compared to transgender female athletes. They claimed that biological males tend to be more athletically privileged and that it takes away from female athletes due to them dominating the sports and taking away spots on the team.
The bill was first introduced by Representative Greg Stube (R-Fla.) in February. If signed into law, Title IX’s definition of sex would be changed to the terminology “based solely on a person’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth.”
Opponent of the bill, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) said that Republicans were “trying to sensationalize an issue that doesn’t really exist in the way that they are falsely portraying.”
He went on to claim that the bill would have negative impacts on transgender children’s wellbeing. Jeffries also stated that the legislation was another ploy by conservatives.
“So, what this is about, again, extreme MAGA Republicans doing everything possible to jam their right-wing ideology down the throats of the American people,” Jeffries said.
Republicans rejected the Democrats argument that the bill is fueled by hate against those who have transitioned. Conservatives say that the bill is meant to protect girls’ and women’s sports.
“We hate no one,” Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) said. “It is ridiculous that we have had to stand here today to defend the rights of women and girls to participate in sports against other women and girls and they not being taken advantage of by biological males.”
It is expected that the bill will not go into law, as the Senate is Democrat-led and the White House has stated that Biden would veto it.
“As a national ban that does not account for competitiveness or grade level, H.R. 734 targets people for who they are and therefore is discriminatory,” the White House said in a statement Monday. “Politicians should not dictate a one-size-fits-all requirement that forces coaches to remove kids from their teams.”
This bill comes after controversy with NCAA swimmer Lia Thomas. Thomas is transgender swimmer who joined the University of Pennsylvania swim team after undergoing a transition. Prior to the transition, Thomas was on the colleges male team. When on the men’s team, Thomas was ranked in the mid 500’s among men. However, a little more than three months after Thomas joined the female team, Thomas won the 500-yard freestyle at the NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships. Thomas won by nearly two seconds.
Currently, NCAA requires that transgender athletes only need to be on hormone-suppressant therapy for one year in order to be eligible to compete in women’s sports.