House Panel to Weigh Ban on Transgender Women & Girls from Sports Teams

March 6, 2023

The House Committee on Education is set on Wednesday to hear for the first time federal legislation to ban transgender women and girls from competing on sports teams.

The “Protect Women and Girls in Sports” Act was introduced February 1 by Rep. Gregory Steube (R-FL). It seeks to amend Title IX, the federal civil rights law prohibiting sex-based discrimination, to recognize a person’s sex “based solely on [that] person’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth.”

This is the third time that Steube has introduced his ban. It failed to pass during the last two terms under the then-Democratic-led House. 

Now that the House is under Republican majority, the Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has signaled support for the legislation. House Education and Labor Chair Virginia Foxx (R-NC) has also voiced support for the proposed ban.

Since 2020, 18 states have enacted laws banning transgender athletes from participating in school sports teams inconsistent with their gender at birth. However, preliminary injunctions are currently in place in Idaho, West Virginia, Indiana and Utah, blocking enforcement of those states’ bans.

On Monday, Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) issued a statement condemning Steube’s bill. He asserted that the proposed ban was “just the opening salvo” toward “demonizing” the LGBTQI+ community.

The proposed federal ban has been endorsed by several conservative groups, including the Alliance Defending Freedom, the American Principles Project, the Family Policy Alliance, and the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

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