Five U.S. senators have introduced a bill that would bar biologically male, transgender athletes from competing in girls' sports at a high school level.
Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler of Georgia, Mike Lee of Utah, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, James Lankford of Oklahoma, and Tom Cotton of Arkansas introduced the "Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act" on Tuesday. The bill amends Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 to clarify that the definition of "sex" is based on "reproductive biology and genetics at the time of birth."
"It shall be a violation … for a recipient of federal funds who operates, sponsors, or facilitates athletic programs or activities to permit a person whose sex is male to participate in an athletic program or activity that is designated for women or girls," the bill reads.
The bill follows an investigation by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights into a Connecticut case where a biological male, transgender athlete competed and won in women's sports. The department found that the incident "denied female student-athletes athletic benefits and opportunities, including advancing to the finals in events, higher level competitions, awards, medals, recognition, and the possibility of greater visibility to colleges and other benefits."
"When Title IX was passed and signed into law, the intent was to ensure equal access for men and women in education, including sports," Lankford said in a statement. "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."
Read the full bill here.