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Tulsi Gabbard Introduces Bill That Could Bar Transgender Women And Girls From Competing In Women’s Sports

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Democratic Hawaii Rep Tulsi Gabbard introduced a bill in the US Congress on Thursday that could prevent transgender girls and women and non-binary people from competing in women’s sports. The bill, co-presented by Republican Oklahoma Representative Markwayne Mullin, is said to have been introduced to provide “equal opportunity for women and girls in high school and college sports,” Gabbard said in a statement while introducing the bill to Congress. The bill says that Title IX protections for female athletes are “based on biological sex.”

Titled the “Protect Women’s Sports Act of 2020,” the proposed bill says that schools will not receive federal funding if they permit “a person whose biological sex at birth is male to participate in an athletic program or activity that is designated for women or girls.” Explaining her support for the bill, US congresswoman Gabbard also assured that it will provide “opportunities for female athletes” in the country. The legislation is receiving immediate backlash from transgender activists who called it “blatantly transphobic.”

Also Read: NCRB To Include Transgender People As A Category In Gender Classification Of Prisoners: Delhi HC

Civil rights activist Charlotte Clymer tweeted:

“Remember when Tulsi Gabbard tried to convince us she was an LGBTQ ally? We knew she was a liar, a fraud,” wrote Zeke Stokes, former chief programs officer of LGBTQ rights organisation GLAAD.

Also Read: A Street In California Named After Indian-American Woman Kala Bagai

What is Title IX

At the centre of this bill is a federal civil rights law called Title IX that was passed as a part of Education Amendments of 1972 in the US. Title IX says that “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

Speaking on the interpretation of this civil right law, Gabbard said in a statement, “However, Title IX is being weakened by some states who are misinterpreting Title IX, creating uncertainty, undue hardship and lost opportunities for female athletes. Our legislation protects Title IX’s original intent which was based on the general biological distinction between men and women athletes based on sex.

Gabbard had campaigned for the Democratic presidential nomination during the 2020 election but later dropped out of the race.

Feature Image Credit: BuzzFeed News

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