December 11, 2020 at 9:39 am EST | by Brody Levesque
Hawai’i Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard introduces anti-trans bill
Tulsi Gabbard, gay news, Washington Blade
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, (D-Hawaii) LGBTQ statement, 17 January 2019 (Screenshot via YouTube)

WASHINGTON – Democratic Hawaiian Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) and Oklahoma Republican Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02), introduced a bill Thursday that if enacted would strip Trans-girls and women of their ability to engage in competitive athletics across the United States.

The Protect Women’s Sports Act, House bill H.R.8932, would narrowly define that the protections of Title IX should be limited to a person’s biological birth sex. ‘This bill protects the sex-based intention of Title IX protections by reaffirming the biological sex-based distinctions between men and women in athletics.’ The bill is clearly written to prevent Transwomen from competing.

Title IX, [20 U.S.C. §§ 1681–1688] states 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.

“Title IX was a historic provision championed by Hawai‘i’s own Congresswoman Patsy Mink in order to provide equal opportunity for women and girls in high school and college sports. It led to a generational shift that impacted countless women, creating life-changing opportunities for girls and women that never existed before. However, Title IX is being weakened by some states who are misinterpreting Title IX, creating uncertainty, undue hardship and lost opportunities for female athletes,” Gabbard said in a statement.

“Our legislation protects Title IX’s original intent which was based on the general biological distinction between men and women athletes based on sex,” “It is critical that the legacy of Title IX continues to ensure women and girls in sports have the opportunity to compete and excel on a level playing field,” she added.

“Tulsi Gabbard is now introducing a blatantly transphobic piece of legislation aimed at trans and non-binary young people,” Trans activist Charlotte Clymer wrote on Twitter.

“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 organization GLAAD. 

A Congressional source told the Blade late Thursday that the bill likely will die in committee and never see a full House vote.

This past August, U.S. District Judge David C. Nye issued an injunction blocking an Idaho statute, signed into law by Gov. Bradley Little in March 2020 that barred transgender females from participating on girls’ or women’s school athletic teams, ruling that the law likely violates the U.S. Constitution’s equal-protection clause.

“The court recognizes that this decision is likely to be controversial,” Nye wrote. “While the citizens of Idaho are likely to either vehemently oppose, or fervently support, the [Fairness in Women’s Sports] Act, the Constitution must always prevail.”

The challenge to Idaho’s law was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of Lindsay Hecox, a transgender track athlete at Boise State University.

 In his 87-page decision in Hecox v. Little Nye noted;

“Ultimately, the court must hear testimony from the experts at trial and weigh both their credibility and the extent of the scientific evidence. However, the incredibly small percentage of transgender women athletes in general, coupled with the significant dispute regarding whether such athletes actually have physiological advantages over cisgender women when they have undergone hormone suppression in particular, suggest the act’s categorical exclusion of transgender women athletes has no relationship to ensuring equality and opportunities for female athletes in Idaho.”

This past May the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights issued guidance that stated that allowing transgender athletes to compete in Connecticut high school sports violated the civil rights of female athletes.

The U.S. Supreme Court this past June ruled by a vote of 6-3 in Bostock v. Clayton County, that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from terminating employees because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The problem some legal experts point out is the court’s majority was careful to claim that the decision did not extend beyond Title VII to other federal or state laws that prohibit sex discrimination.

Gabbard ran for the Democratic presidential nomination during the 2020 election cycle before dropping out in March. In January of 2019 she released a video apologising for homophobic comments made years earlier.

Gabbard is set to leave the House of Representatives in January, Democrat Kai Kahele, was elected Nov. 3 to the seat she is vacating after deciding not to run for re-election.

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