Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler joined Utah Sen. Mike Lee, Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn, Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, and Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford introduced on Tuesday, the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act would classify that type of participation as a violation of Title IX, the federal government’s statute barring sex discrimination in federally-funded schools.
“Title IX established a fair and equal chance for women and girls to compete, and sports should be no exception,” said Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga.,
“Permitting biological males to participate in women’s sports rejects the very spirit of Title IX, which was intended to create an equal playing field for women and girls,” Lankford said in a press release. “This bill upholds and reiterates congressional intent and promotes actual equality for women and girls in sports by respecting the dignity of biological female athletes across the nation.”
Tuesday’s legislation follows a rising trend in biological men dominating events in women’s track and field. Loeffler pointed to a lawsuit that was filed in Connecticut after two biological men swept several events at the state track and field championships.
“Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, not gender identity,” Education Department spokesperson Liz Hill told the outlet. She maintained, however, that the department may investigate other complaints separate from bathrooms. “Where students, including transgender students, are penalized or harassed for failing to conform to sex-based stereotypes, that is sex discrimination prohibited by Title IX,” she reportedly said. “In the case of bathrooms, however, long-standing regulations provide that separating facilities on the basis of sex is not a form of discrimination prohibited by Title IX.”
Loeffler’s legislation received pushback from liberal activists. Zack Ford, press secretary at Alliance for Justice, described Loeffler’s bill as an attempt to mandate discrimination.