Across the United States, a growing number of biological men are competing in women’s sports as “anti-discrimination” laws at the federal and state level have opened the door for athletes to compete based on the gender with which they identify.
Mere hours after his inauguration, President Biden signed an executive order called “Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation.” The measure tells leaders of each federal agency to construct plans ensuring that transgender individuals are not the subjects of “discrimination” in domains such as “the restroom, the locker room, or school sports.”
A similar executive order tells American diplomats stationed abroad to advance the interests of “brave” activists fighting for “LGBTQI+” rights.
According to polling data, such policies are unpopular among members of the American public. A 2019 Rasmussen poll reveals that only 28% of American adults favor allowing transgender students to participate alongside the opposing sex in school sports. Indeed, over the past several years, many parents and teachers grew uneasy and upset as biological men set new state records in weightlifting, sprinting, and outperformed biological females in other activities.
As a result, many state governments are pursuing policies that would prevent biological males from competing against females in school sports.
Though the measures cite the innate biological differences between the sexes and protect female students accordingly, LGBTQ advocacy organizations like the Human Rights Campaign dismissed such efforts as discriminatory and hurtful.
“You’re 13. You want to play soccer. You sign up for your school’s team, practice hard, and make friends,” writes the group. “Then a state lawmaker introduces legislation that would ban you from playing sports because you’re transgender.”
In part in response to the executive actions of President Biden, and mounting pressure from the LGBTQ movement, here are four states pushing legislation to keep men from participating in women’s sports.
A bill introduced by South Dakota lawmakers would enforce the distinction between the sexes in sporting events, while also granting legal recourse to females harmed by violations.
State Rep. Rhonda Milstead (R-SD) proposed the “Act to promote continued fairness in women’s sports,” which mandates that “any athletic team or sport that is sponsored or sanctioned by a public school… must be expressly designated as being a male team or sport; a female team or sport; or a coeducational team or sport.” The bill includes a line emphasizing that “a team or sport designated as being female is available only to participants who are female, based on their biological sex.”
Every year, schools must obtain a written statement verifying a student’s biological sex according to birth and confirming that the student has not taken performance-enhancing hormones. If a school suspects that any information in the statement is false, they are able to remove the student from an athletic team.
Under the bill, any biological female placed at a disadvantage after competing against a biological male has a pathway to legal recompense: “If a student suffers direct or indirect harm, as a result of this Act being violated, that student has a private cause of action for injunctive relief, damages, and any other relief available under law, against the violating entity.”
Students are also granted protection from retaliation that could arise from reporting violations of the bill.
In early March, both chambers of Mississippi’s state legislature passed a bill to defend women’s sports.
The legislation instructs all athletics departments sponsored by public primary and secondary schools — as well as teams affiliated with collegiate leagues such as the NCAA — to expressly classify teams according to biological sex. Acceptable categories are “males,” “females,” and “coed.”
The bill likewise shields schools from backlash by stating that no entity shall “entertain a complaint, open an investigation, or take any other adverse action against a primary or secondary school or institution of higher education for maintaining separate interscholastic or intramural athletic teams or sports for students of the female sex.”
“With the things that are going on across the country and the things that are even going on in the State of Mississippi, it’s very wise for Mississippi to have a clear policy to protect biological females in their capacity as athletes,” said bill sponsor and State Sen. Angela Hill (R-MS), who once worked as a science teacher.
Now, Gov. Tate Reeves (R-MS) plans to sign the measure into law.
“I will sign our bill to protect young girls from being forced to compete with biological males for athletic opportunities, he remarked on Twitter. “It’s crazy we have to address it, but the Biden E.O. forced the issue.”
Tennessee lawmakers approved legislation to align sports participation with the sex listed on students’ birth certificates.
House Bill 3 recognizes that “participation, recruitment, and scholarships can be directly and negatively affected by new school policies permitting boys who are male in every biological respect to compete in girls’ athletic competitions if they claim a female gender identity.” Allowing biological males to participate in female sports “discriminates against girls by regularly resulting in boys displacing girls in competitive events.”
These disparities are attributable to “having more skeletal muscle mass than girls and more upper-body and lower-body strength, which can result in injury to girls if girls participate in contact sports with boys.” As with other states’ measures, the Tennessee legislature therefore mandates that school districts separate the two sexes in sporting events.
However, dubbing it “hateful,” the ACLU was not thrilled with the legislation’s passing.
“Attempting to embed discrimination against transgender girls into state law, Tennessee senators voted today to ban transgender girls from participating in school sports,” commented ACLU of Tennessee Executive Director Hedy Weinberg. “Protecting women’s sports is important, but transgender girls do not threaten them.”
The left-leaning legal nonprofit announced an intention to fight the bill in court upon passage.
A similar bill in Texas declares that “only students of the same biological sex” may compete in sports leagues together.
Specifically, House Bill 1458 says that “a biologically male student may not participate in an athletic team… that is designated for participation by only biologically female students.” Students can bring action for relief if they are “deprived of an athletic opportunity… as a result of a violation” of the bill by an “institution of higher education.”
State Rep. Valoree Swanson (R-TX) lamented that “this bill is a common sense measure that is sadly necessary in a world where male athletes are robbing women of both championship trophies and educational opportunities.”
State Sen. Charles Perry (R-TX) — who sponsored the Senate version of the bill — said that the legislation “is purely 100% devoted to the preservation of Title IX and allowing women to compete against women in their peer groups in that biological category, so they know they can have an equal and fighting chance based on ability and not over some political narrative of the day that undermines fairness.”
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.