GOP Unveils New Law To Protect Women

On Monday, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce said that federal legislation to prohibit transgender women and girls from competing on teams for women and girls would be discussed.

In February, Representative Greg Steube (R-Florida) introduced the “Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act,” which would amend Title IX, the federal civil rights law prohibiting discrimination based on gender, to define male and female as “based on a person’s genetics and reproductive biology at birth.”

It’s Steube’s third try at introducing the bill, which died in the House under Democratic rule the prior two Congresses. Steube and Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) submitted a discharge petition in April to bring the bill from last year to the House floor, but they only received 187 signatures, short of the 218 needed to force a vote.

The new Republican majority in the House and prior signals of support from Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) give the bill a higher chance of passing. Republican representative from North Carolina, Virginia Foxx, has also supported Steube’s legislation.

After swimmer Lia Thomas made history as the first transgender athlete to win an NCAA Division I championship last year, Steube released a statement last month saying that transgender female athletes have “no place in women’s sports” and accusing Thomas of “robbing” the title from cisgender woman Emma Weyant, who finished second.

Organizations, local sports associations, and even individual school districts have adopted policies that limit transgender athletes’ ability to compete on teams based on their gender identity in the past year, raising the question of whether transgender women and girls should be allowed to do so.

More than a dozen state legislatures have introduced companion bills this year. 

Several conservative organizations, such as the Alliance Defending Freedom, the American Principles Project, the Family Policy Alliance, and the Ethics and Public Policy Center, have supported House Bill 734.