Republicans Defend Bill Aimed at Protecting Women’s Sports – Democrats Call It ‘Bullying’

The House of Representatives passed the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act on Thursday, a bill aimed at barring biological males who identify as transgender from competing in girls’ and women’s sports at schools across the country.

Republicans voted in favor of it, while all the Democrats opposed. The bill managed to get through despite fierce arguments that it bullies transgender students.

Republicans defended the legislation as a means to protect women and girls from having to compete against transgender athletes, whom they argue are biological males capable of dominating female sports and preventing female athletes from making teams. But many Democrats claimed that the GOP bill is merely an extension of the bullying already faced by transgender students. Representative Greg Landsman of Ohio stated that “This bill is about bullying children. Stop bullying children.”

Several others joined the debate stating that the bill is a shameful assault on a small group of children. “House Republicans are choosing to bully and belittle trans children,” argued Rep. Robert Garcia of California, while Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Michigan even suggested that the bill be renamed “cancel kids trans hate bill,” adding that “This bill fuels a virulent hate campaign against kids who just want to play with their friends.”

However, Republicans rebuffed these arguments, saying they were acting to protect girls’ and women’s sports from being dominated by male athletes. Representatives Mark Takano and Virginia Foxx both supported the Republican interpretation. Takano argued that the bill would make school sports “less safe for women and girls,” while Foxx stated that Democrats were ignoring the physical advantages men hold over women.

Sponsored by Representative Greg Steube of Florida, the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act provides that no educational institution can allow a “person whose sex is male to participate in an athletic program or activity that is designed for women or girls.” Athletes are defined as per their “reproductive biology and genetics at birth.”

House passage sends the bill to the Senate, where Democrats’ leaders are unlikely to take it up, and President Biden has already stated that he would veto it if it ever made it to his desk.