Congressional committee celebrates revived 'Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act'

Controversy around biological males participating in female athletics erupted when Lia Thomas, born as Will Thomas, switched from the University of Pennsylvania’s men’s swim team to the women’s swim team.

'I am not afraid to say what was once considered common sense: boys do not belong in girl’s sports and men do not belong in women’s sports,' Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx said.

The Committee on Education & The Workforce is celebrating the reintroduction of the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act. 

Rep. Greg Steube, who introduced the Act, said that “[a]llowing biological males to participate in women’s sports is a complete affront to the hardworking women and girls who have spent their lives training to achieve their dreams. It’s simple: biological males have no place in women’s sports.” 

He continued, “Floridians and Americans across the country are rightly outraged at what has become of women’s sports. We’ve seen time and time again how the far left only favors fairness when it aligns with their woke agenda. That’s why today, I’m pleased [to] reintroduce legislation that ensures women and girls a fair playing field in competitive sports.” 

Controversy around biological males participating in female athletics erupted when Lia Thomas, born as Will Thomas, switched from the University of Pennsylvania’s men’s swim team to the women’s swim team, breaking records and often winning competitions. 

[RELATED: 5 key events in the 2022 Lia Thomas saga]

The Biden administration’s proposed changes to Title IX in the fall of 2021 presented the possibility that more transgender athletes would compete according to their identity rather than their biological sex. 

Rep. Steube’s amendment would end the conflation of “sex” and “gender identity,” explicitly updating the Education Amendments of 1972 to codify that “sex” shall represent a “person’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth,” the legislation reads.   

In a statement provided to Campus Reform by a spokesperson from the Committee, Chairwoman Virginia Foxx said the following regarding the Steube amendment:

The spokesperson also noted that, while Democrats in Congress have not provided bipartisan support on this issue, the American people do not support policies that allow men to compete in women’s sports, pointing to a Washington Post-University of Maryland poll

When asked if transgender women (i.e. biological males) should be allowed to compete with women, 58% of respondents said they should not at either the professional or college level, according to the poll. 

55% also agreed that biological males should not be allowed to compete with biological females in high school athletics. 

[RELATED: Dep. of Education to expand Title IX protections to transgender students]

The American people support legislation to protect women’s sports, the spokesperson contends, because the people “have more commonsense than the left-wing activists that have captured the Democrat party. And they can look at the numbers and the science.” 

Riley Gaines, the former University of Kentucky swimmer who competed against Thomas, also supports Rep. Steube’s work. 

Gaines is quoted on the Committee’s blog saying, “As an athlete who has experienced the injustice of competing against a male firsthand, I'm grateful for the leadership of Representative Steube. He has made it clear that he will fight for fairness, privacy, and safety for girls and women in sports.”

Gaines also told Campus Reform that the legislation is a step in the right direction. 

"The filing of the Steube bill is definitely a step in the right direction for [C]ongress. I want to say it's progressive, but it's actually upholding something that was enacted 50 years ago," Gaines said. 

"The intent of Title IX was to stop discriminating on the basis of sex which would, in turn, give females equal opportunities at the collegiate level including athletically. Representative Steube and the other cosponsors of the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act have shown true leadership in the fight to ensure fairness, privacy, and safety for female athletes." 

The former collegiate athlete also explained that there are reasons to support the legislation beyond just the legal arguments discussed in Congress, pointing to biological differences between males and females:  

In concluding statements to Campus Reform, Gaines notes that conservatives have led the charge to protect women's sports, noting that there are few liberals "willing to acknowledge the obvious differences in biology and physiology in men and women that contribute to athletic performance."

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