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Tulsi Gabbard Attacks Trans Women, Claims to Be LGBTQ+ Ally

Tulsi Gabbard Attacks Trans Women, Claims to Be LGBTQ+ Ally

The Protect Women’s Sports Act would bar trans women student athletes from competing according to their true genders.

Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) partnered up with Representative Markwayne Mullin (R-Oklahoma) to introduce a bill that would limit nearly all women's collegiate sports programs to those people assigned female at birth rather than by their lived gender. H.R. 8932 entitled the Protect Women's Sports Act would forbid educational institutions that receive federal funding from allowing trans women from participating in any sports program or activity that has been designated for women or girls.

"Title IX was designed to give women and girls an equal chance to succeed, including in sports," Gabbard said in a statement. "Allowing biological males to compete in women's sports diminishes that equality and takes away from the original intent of Title IX." In her 2020 run for the Democratic presidential nomination, Gabbard said she had evolved and was a supporter of LGBTQ+ rights.

"As the father of three girls involved in athletics, I want them to be able to compete on a level playing field," echoed Mullins. "I am proud to lead this bill that will safeguard the integrity of women's sports and ensure female athletes can compete fairly."

The proposed legislation is the latest attack from the right against allowing trans athletes to compete in sports according to the true gender, rather than the gender assigned at birth. In September, Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler of Georgia joined with Tom Cotton of Arkansas and three other senators to propose the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act which would also make it a violation of Title IX protections for any school receiving federal funds to permit transgender women to participate in women's sports. Loeffler is currently in the midst of a runoff electioni for an open Georgia Senate seat that could determine the balance of power in the Legislature's upper chamber.

On the state level this summer, a federal judge in Boise temporarily blocked a controversial law in Idaho that banned trans athletes from participation in school sports. In the case of Hecox v. Little, U.S. District Judge David Nye granted a temporary injunction against HB500, known officially as The Fairness in Women's Sports Act. The bill, which Governor Brad Little signed into law this past March, allowed for internal and external verification of a disputed athlete's reproductive system.

"I feel a major sense of relief," Lindsay Hecox, the student-athlete plaintiff in the case who hopes to compete on the track and cross-country teams at BSU, said in a statement at the time. "I love running, and part of what I enjoy about the sport is building relationships with a team."

Despite the rhetoric, neither Gabbard's House bill or Loeffler's Senate bill have much hope for being passed by both chambers and signed into law by the incoming Biden-Harris administration.

RELATED | Supreme Court Rules LGBTQ+ Workplace Discrimination Illegal

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