An Important Debate is Coming on Transgender Athletes
Earlier this year, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) introduced legislation that would ban biological males from women’s sports. The bill is called the Protect Women’s Sports Act. She believes that Title IX, introduced in the 1970’s to create equal opportunities for women, is under attack by forcing females to compete against biological males that identify as females. This unfair competition limits the opportunity to win and to receive scholarships, titles and awards. This bill seeks to “reaffirm the biological sex-based distinctions between men and women in athletics.” This legislation is set to move forward for a vote in the United States House of Representatives in 2021.
Conversely, on President Biden’s first day in office, he signed an executive order allowing transgender females (biologically born a male) to compete against females. This includes all transgender females, regardless of how long they have identified as a female or what steps they have taken to minimize hormonal competitive advantages. Biden believes that transgender athletes should be able to compete against the athletes they identify as.
High School States Handle This Issue Differently: In April, Idaho banned trans athletes from competing in women’s sports. Of course, the state was quickly sued by Boise State track and field athlete Lindsay Hecox, claiming this ban discriminated against transgender athletes.
In contrast, Connecticut has allowed transgender athletes to compete against girls. In track, the transgender athletes have won the 100 and 200 meter dash in 2018 and 2019. The family of the girl who finished third have filed suit against the Connecticut Department of Education, claiming that they violated her civil rights as a female.
Joe’s Perspective: My opinion on this is that we, as a country, will have to come to an agreement on how to handle this issue. My guess is the US Supreme Court will ultimately rule on this, creating a law of the land. And, regardless of how it is ruled, people will disagree mightily. On this issue, I believe it is more important to protect Title IX and women in sports. As more transgender women compete in sports, the more women will be shut out of victories, championships and collegiate athletic scholarships. To me, this is unfair and, to me, this is more important than the opposing argument. To me the negative consequences are too harmful for women.
Your Turn: If you were a representative in congress or a justice on the US Supreme Court, how would you rule on this issue?