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Senate Democrats Defeat Measure That Would Prevent Boys from Playing in Girls' Sports

Michael Foust| Contributor| Monday, March 8, 2021

Senate Democrats on Saturday defeated a measure that supporters said would have safeguarded women’s sports by prohibiting biological boys who identify as female from competing in girls’ sports.

U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) offered the amendment to the Covid-19 stimulus bill and said it would have prevented schools from receiving federal funds if they allow biological males to play in girls’ or women’s sports.

In Connecticut in recent years, two biological males who identify as female won a total of 15 state championships.

The Senate defeated the amendment along a party-line vote, with all 50 Democrats opposing it and 49 Republicans supporting it. (GOP Sen. Dan Sullivan of Alaska was out of town for a family funeral.)

Tuberville, who coached football at Auburn, Cincinnati, Texas Tech and Ole Miss, argued the amendment was needed to protect female athletes. Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Roger Marshall (Kan.) co-sponsored the amendment.

“I started my career coaching high school football, girls and boys basketball 45 years ago, just a few years after Title IX was enacted,” Tuberville said. “It ensured young women had the same opportunities as young men, and the same access to funding, facilities and athletic scholarships. Title IX has given young women the long-denied platform that had always been afforded to men. And today, America’s female athletes are routinely the best performing on the world stage.”

The amendment, he said, “recognizes Title IX’s role in protecting women in education and in sports” and “safeguards fairness and equality for women.”

Title IX is a 1972 law that prohibits discrimination based on sex in education programs and activities.

During his first week in office, President Biden signed an executive order declaring that his administration interprets Title IX as applying to sexual orientation and gender identity. Such an interpretation presumably would require schools to allow biological boys who identify as girls to compete on girls’ teams. It is one of the most controversial elements in the political and legal battle over transgender rights.

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