This year will see the 50th anniversary of Title IX, a law passed by Congress in 1972, whose purpose is to protect women’s opportunities in education programs funded by taxpayers, including women’s sports. Historically, women’s sports received fewer dollars than men’s sports at all levels, and women did not receive the same training, competition, scholarships and other benefits and advantages male athletes enjoyed.
Title IX changed all of that for the better. But now, that progress is threatened by the rise of gender ideology, which advocates that men who believe they are women ought to be able to compete as women, despite the obvious physiological and biological differences between the sexes.
In sports such as track, swimming, basketball, rugby, wrestling and others, males competing as females have taken advantage of their physical size and strength to dominate, exposing women to physical harm in some cases. And in the process, they take trophies, scholarships and other opportunities away from women.
That’s simply unfair, as most Americans agree.
As many states have done, a bill was introduced in Congress to rectify the injustices being committed in women’s sports and restore the original intent of Title IX.
The House measure, known as H.R. 426,the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act of 2021, was originally introduced by Representative Greg Steube, R-Fla. Its language is short and simple:
“It shall be a violation of [Title IX] 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.
‘‘For purposes of this subsection, sex shall be recognized based solely on a person’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth.’’
The bill has languished in the House Committee on Education and Labor since it was introduced, but Steube and Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., are invoking a House procedure known as a “discharge petition” to bring the bill to the floor for a vote.
The tactic will certainly force House members to take a stand on an issue which could be important to voters in November, when all 435 representatives are up for re-election.
A discharge petition must be signed by a majority of the House’s members to work, which in the House would require 218 signatures. Since support and opposition to the bill appears to line up along party lines, the petition would likely require all 209 Republicans plus 9 Democrats to be effective.
Banks is Chairman of the Republican Study Committee, which has formally endorsed H.R. 426.
“RSC is committed to preserving female athletes’ legally guaranteed right to compete on a level playing field,” the committee told The Daily Wire a few days ago. “The 50th anniversary of Title IX is just months away . . . We support the use of a discharge petition to bring this bill to the floor.”
Rep. Steube lauded the bill in a press release.
“Allowing biological males to compete in women’s sports is anti-science and an affront to female athletes around the country. We have seen this practice prevent talented athletes from achieving their goals; stripping them of records, rosters, and scholarships.
“As the left perpetuates a craze to eliminate gender, the American people deserve to know where their elected representatives stand on protecting women’s sports.”
The Family Policy Alliance (FPA), an ally of Focus on the Family, issued a statement in support of the bill and the discharge petition.
“The future of America’s women and girls is on the line,” the FPA statement reads. “If members of Congress truly support fair opportunities for women, they will not hesitate to sign the discharge petition for H.R. 426.
“While the Biden Administration is aggressively attempting to sideline our girls, America is fighting back. 15 states have passed Save Girls Sports bills, and this discharge petition is an important step to a future national victory. We applaud Chairman Banks and the Republican Study Committee for initiating a full-court press to ensure fair play for women and girls across the nation.”
The issue of women’s sports is not totally partisan, either. Tulsi Gabbard, former Democrat member of the House from Hawaii and 2020 presidential candidate, not only supports such bills, but even introduced one of her own, the Protect Women’s Sports Act of 2020.
“Title IX is being weakened by some states who are misinterpreting [it], creating uncertainty, undue hardship and lost opportunities for female athletes,” Rep. Gabbard said in a statement as reported by Time. “Our legislation protects Title IX’s original intent which was based on the general biological distinction between men and women athletes based on sex.”
To contact your member of Congress in the U.S. House of Representatives to ask for their vote in favor of the discharge petition on HR. 426, go here.
Photo from Shutterstock.