The bill, which has unanimous Democratic support, also saw eight Republicans vote in favor
The Democrat-controlled House voted 236-173 in favor of the Equality Act on Friday, which would make it mandatory for schools to allow male athletes identifying as transgender to be included in female sports.
The bill, which has unanimous Democratic support, also saw eight Republicans vote in favor.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 to make “sexual orientation and gender identity” protected characteristics under federal anti-discrimination law, will also be amended by the bill.
The bill would force public schools to include biological males identifying as transgender girls to be included in female athletic teams.
A last-minute the amendment to the bill was introduced by Republican Florida Rep. Greg Steube which would have preserved Title IX’s protections of female athletic teams but was rejected by the Democrats.
The legislation was co-sponsored by all House Democrats, bar one.
Illinois Rep. Dan Lipinski, the only Democrats who wasn’t a co-sponsor, declared his support for the bill as pressure mounted from left-wing activists.
“People need to wake up. This radical bill is going to totally eliminate women’s and girls sports,” Republican Arizona Rep. Debbie Lesko suggested in an op-ed on Thursday.
Half-dozen other House Republicans inclduing Republican Missouri Rep. Vicky Hartzle, held a press conference Thursday opposing what she described as the “Inequality Act.”
“Congress enacted Title IX to provide equal opportunities for women in education and sports. All this is erased under H.R. 5,” Hartzler said at the press conference.
Warning from former elite female athletes
Former female athletes, Doriane Coleman, Martina Navratilova, and Sanya Richards-Ross, warned that the controversial e Equality Act would play havoc on the female sports, according to a Washington Post op-ed published on April 29.
“The legislation would make it unlawful to differentiate among girls and women in sports on the basis of sex for any purpose.
For example, a sports team couldn’t treat a transgender woman differently from a woman who is not transgender on the grounds that the former is male-bodied,” the former athletes wrote.
“Yet the reality is that putting male- and female-bodied athletes together is a co-ed or open sport. And in open sport, females lose,” they added.
But despite warnings from he professional female athletes, House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler maintained the bill would not disadvantage women athletes.
“Many states have sexual orientation and gender identity nondiscrimination laws, and all of them still have women’s sports. Arguments about transgender athletes participating in sports in accordance with their gender identity having competitive advantages have not been borne out,” Nadler said at an April 2 hearing on the bill.
Earlier this month, a transgender weightlifter, who recently won the women powerlifting records, has had the claims rejected by the official weightlifting league.
In March, a former Olympic athlete called for a ban on transgender athletes competing in women’s sporting events against biological females.
British Olympian Sharron Davies was accused of “hate” saying transgender competitors may have an unfair advantage while competing alongside “cisgender” (non-transgender) women.
Davies won a silver medal in swimming at the 1980 Olympics in Moscow, among other awards, and later joined the UK TV show Gladiators being given the nickname Amazon.