A lone Democrat on Wednesday blocked the Senate from passing legislation that would prevent biological males from competing as transgender athletes on girls’ and women’s sports teams at schools and universities.
The Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act passed the House last week with no support from Democrats, and on Wednesday, Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., stood on the Senate floor and asked for unanimous consent to quickly pass the bill in the Senate. Tuberville, who was head football coach at the University of Mississippi and Auburn University, said he started out as a girls’ basketball coach and saw firsthand how important Title IX was in giving girls and women opportunities to play sports.
“Title IX was just starting to be implemented when I took the job,” he said on the floor of the 1972 federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in schools that receive federal funding, which is credited for broadly expanding female sports programs. “I was there to see its incredible impact it had on young girls all over this country. For the first time, the young women I coached had equal access to facilities, resources and competition.”
“I saw those hardworking athletes go on to earn college scholarships, start careers and become leaders in their own communities,” he said.
He warned the Biden administration’s support for allowing transgender girls and women to play alongside biological women is “taking a sledgehammer… to Title IX.”
“A few weeks ago, on Good Friday of all days, Joe Biden’s Department of Education issued a new rule completely reinterpreting Title IX,” Tuberville said. “Biden's rule says schools cannot ban boys from participating in women’s sports or else they’ll lose their funding.”
“That means teachers and coaches will have to begin opening their girls’ and women’s teams, fields and locker rooms to biological males,” he continued. “It’s unfair, it’s unsafe and it’s downright wrong. To be honest, it's moronic.”
Under the House bill that passed last week, educational institutions that receive Title IX funding would not be allowed to permit biological male athletes to “participate in an athletic program or activity that is designed for women or girls.” It holds that the sex of an athlete is defined only by their “reproductive biology and genetics at birth.”
But when Tuberville called on the Senate to pass the House bill by unanimous consent, Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, objected on behalf of her party and said the bill would block people from participating in sports “consistent with their gender.”