On Thursday, the Republican-led House passed legislation aimed at preventing biological males from competing as transgender athletes in girls’ and women’s sports.
The bill specifically bars schools and colleges from receiving federal money if they allow transgender athletes to compete on girls or women’s sports teams or at athletic events.
Zero Democrats voted for the bill. Many spoke out.
“This bill is about bullying children,” said Rep. Greg Landsman, D-Ohio. “Stop bullying children.”
“House Republicans are choosing to bully and belittle trans children,” argued Rep. Robert Garcia, D-Calif. “This is about attacking a small group of children, and it is shameful.”
Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., said, “We should rename it the ‘cancel kids trans hate’ bill. This bill fuels a virulent hate campaign against kids who just want to play with their friends.”
“This debate itself has been traumatizing,” said Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif. He also said the bill would make school sports “less safe for women and girls,” and argued that even discussing the legislation on the House floor was doing harm to transgender students.
The legislation, known specifically as the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act, was approved by a party-line vote of 219 Republicans to 203 Democrats.
Despite passing in the House, it’s unlikely to become actual law, since the Democrats control the Senate.
Additionally, as long as Biden is President, he has the option to veto the bill, which is likely.
Supporters of the bill say regulating transgender participation in sports are necessary to ensure competitive fairness and protect the integrity of women’s athletics.
The opposition claims that there are so few people who identify as transgender, that the bill specifically targets them, and thus, is unfair.
Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., said, “We hate no one. 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.”