WASHINGTON — Five U.S. senators have introduced a bill that would prohibit biological males who identify as female from competing in girls’ school sports.
Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler of Georgia, Mike Lee of Utah, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, James Lankford of Oklahoma and Tom Cotton of Arkansas presented the “Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act” on Tuesday, which amends Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 to specifically note that the definition of “sex” is based on the individual’s “reproductive biology and genetics at the the time of birth.”
“It shall be a violation … for a recipient of federal funds who operates, sponsors, or facilitates athletic programs or activities to permit a person whose sex is male to participate in an athletic program or activity that is designated for women or girls,” the bill reads.
According to Loeffler, the measure would penalize schools that violate the law and could also threaten their funding altogether.
She points to a case out of Connecticut in which the Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) implemented a policy allowing students to compete in accordance with their stated “gender identity.”
Two biological boys, who go by the names Andraya Yearwood and Terry Miller, were consequently permitted to join the girls track team at their school and compete as females — moving on to the New England regionals.
One of the female competitors, Selina Soule, who attends Bloomfield High School, wasn’t able to qualify for the 55-meter race at the regionals because Yearwood and Miller took two of the top spots. She came in eighth.
She and her mother, along with fellow runners Chelsea Mitchell and Alanna Smith and their parents, lodged a complaint last year with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, which agreed to investigate.
As previously reported, the Office found in June that the policy “denied female student-athletes athletic benefits and opportunities, including advancing to the finals in events, higher level competitions, awards, medals, recognition, and the possibility of greater visibility to colleges and other benefits.”
“When Title IX was passed and signed into law, the intent was to ensure equal access for men and women in education, including sports,” Lankford said in a statement. “Permitting biological males to participate in women’s sports rejects the very spirit of Title IX, which was intended to create an equal playing field for women and girls.”
“At their best, sports teach our kids fundamental lessons about fairness and integrity in a safe environment — but there’s nothing fair, honest or safe about allowing men to compete in sports leagues designed solely for women,” Cotton also remarked. “This bill will preserve the sports leagues and teams that allow women and girls to excel as athletes. And it will defend the commonsense principle that women’s sports are for women.”
“It’s tragic but unsurprising that such a defense is necessary.”
In an article written in 2016, apologist Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis noted that the Bible teaches — including in a quote from Jesus Christ Himself — that “God made them male and female.”
“Of course, sin has affected everything, including gender, and, as a result, some people have a real struggle with gender identity. We need to have compassion for these individuals,” he wrote. “But that doesn’t mean we should accept and embrace sinful behaviors and choices! It means that we lovingly and gently expose sin and share the life-changing message of the gospel of Jesus Christ with all people.”
“What people need is not accommodation of a sinful lifestyle. They need the gospel of Jesus Christ! They need to become a new creation.”