Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act of 2023 passed the U.S. House of Representatives with a vote of 219-203, with all of the “no” votes coming from Democrats. The legislation, introduced by Rep. Greg Steube of Florida, aims to prevent biological males from participating in women’s sports. Schools that receive Title IX funding from the federal government would not be permitted to “permit a person whose sex is male to participate in an athletic program or activity that is designed for women or girls.”
The passage of the bill was celebrated by Republicans and some female athletes, who argue that biological males competing in women’s sports have an unfair physical advantage. Congresswoman Julia Letlow of Louisiana tweeted, “As a former high school and college athlete, I am outraged that girls and women are forced to compete with biological boys and men. Today, Republicans said no more with the passage of the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act!”
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy called the passage of the bill a “great day for America, a great day for girls and women and for fairness in sports.” However, the Biden administration criticized the bill as discriminatory against transgender athletes.
Democrats lamented the bill’s passage, with Ohio Democrat Greg Landsman claiming Republicans are “bullying children.”
The bill is unlikely to advance further because the Democratic-led Senate will not support it, and President Biden has vowed to veto it if it reaches his desk. Despite this, supporters of the bill see it as a crucial step in protecting female athletes and ensuring fair competition in sports.