On Wednesday, dozens of House Republicans signed on to a petition demanding that a vote be held on legislation banning transgender girls and women from participating in sports teams that are compatible with their gender identity.
Representative Jim Banks (R.I.), is one of nine lawmakers. The petition to discharge the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act was submitted Tuesday by nine lawmakers led by Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.). It was first introduced in January 2021 by Rep. Greg Steube, R-Fla. and has never been reintroduced by the House Education and Labor Committee.
Banks encouraged more of his colleagues Wednesday to sign the petition at a Republican Study Committee lunch. The petition had been signed by 62 legislators before the House adjourned.
To discharge the bill, Banks needs 218 signatures to be allowed to vote on it. This is the most successful Republican effort to bring the federal measure that would restrict transgender athletes’ participation to a legislative stage.
According to the bill, Title IX, an education law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, will recognize sex-based only on a person’s reproductive biology and genetics at their birth.
Democrats were accused by banks of trying to “destroy Title IX protections.” He stated that House Republicans should make it clear to Democrats their position on excluding transgender women from female sports competitions.
Nevertheless, Democrats seem certain to stop the bill from moving forward. Even though more than a dozen states have passed similar laws regarding student-athletes, the Biden administration has stood firm in support of transgender students’ rights.
“As I said last year, especially to our younger transgender Americans, I will always have your back as your President,” President Joe Biden said during his State of the Union address.
The Justice Department sent an earlier letter to the state attorneys general urging them to adhere to laws that protect transgender youth from discrimination and maintain access to gender-related medical treatment.
Context: Since 2003, transgender women have been allowed to participate in women’s Olympic sports. However, the NCAA updated its policy regarding transgender athletes’ participation this year. Each sport’s national governing body can now determine eligibility requirements.
The Banks’ decision comes as the Biden administration prepares to announce its overhaul of DeVos-era Title IX rules as early as this month. This rule outlines how colleges and schools must respond to sexual misconduct reports. However, the Biden administration will likely codify anti-discrimination protections that transgender students can receive for the first time. The new rule will codify the Biden administration’s interpretation of Title IX. This means that discrimination based upon sexual orientation or gender identity is covered by the statute.
Heritage Action, American Principles Project, and Independent Women’s Forum were among the conservative groups that praised the petition and encouraged the GOP legislators to support it.
Terry Schilling, President of the American Principles Project, stated in a statement that “Make no mistake: defending women’s sports is vastly becoming an indicator issue for Republicans, so voters will be paying close attention to where their representatives stand.”