On Wednesday, 26 April, 72 American female athletes, including swimmer Riley Gaines, sent a letter to the U.S. Congress to applaud the passage of the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act. On 20 April, the Republican-led House passed a bill that prevents schools and colleges on federal funding from allowing transgender athletes, whose biological sex assigned at birth is male, to compete on women’s or girls’ sports teams or in athletic events. The law, known as the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act, was passed by a vote of 219 in favor and 203 against. The bill is unlikely to progress further, as the Democratic-led Senate will not support it and the White House stated that President Biden will veto it.
Female athletes, including many champions, wrote in their letter that “forcing female athletes, like us, to compete against biological males is not only unfair, it is discriminatory and illegal. Allowing biological males to take away awards, roster spots, scholarships or spots at school from female athletes violates Title IX’s prohibition of discrimination “on the basis of sex.” The Protecting Women and Girls in Sports Act amends Title IX to make it explicitly clear and warns athletic organizations, athletic directors and Department of Education bureaucrats against adopting policies that promote ‘inclusion’ behind the backs of women.”
More than 50 years ago, Congress enacted Title IX to ensure equal opportunity in all aspects of education, including athletics,” added Carrie Lukas, vice president of Independent Women’s Voice. “But without single-sex teams and single-sex competition, equal athletic opportunity is but a farce. Forcing female athletes to compete against biological males is unfair. But it’s also discriminatory. Allowing biological males to take awards, roster spots, scholarships, or spots at a school from female athletes violates Title IX’s prohibition of discrimination ‘on the basis of sex.’ The Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act will help preserve equal athletic opportunity for both sexes. IWV is thankful for Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s outstanding leadership on this important issue and for standing up for women and girls across the country. And we expect the Senate to allow a vote on this bill so Americans know does and who does not stand with women.” The letter was initiated by the Independent Women’s Forum’s advocacy division, Independent Women’s Voice, in response to lesbian soccer player Megan Rapinoe’s efforts to oppose the law.