Despite Biden winning the presidency, Republicans in Congress are still attempting to carry over some of the ideals of the Trump administration, including anti-trans legislation.
A new bill in the House of Representatives, brought by Representative Greg Steube, would withhold funding from athletic organizations that allow trans people to participate in gender-segregated programs based on sexual identity, insisting instead that “sex shall be recognized solely on a person’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth.” The policy of HR 426 is worded vaguely and doesn’t define conditions for how schools would identify trans students.
Steuebe addressed the bill in a recent press release, stating that he believes it creates a “fair playing field” in youth sports. The statement goes on to claim that “heartbreaking stories of young women and girls from across the country who compete in sports but are losing games and even scholarships to biological males who choose to identify as women and girls” have been heard by legislators, though it doesn’t make any specific claims nor does it state any specific research.
“We must protect our female athletes from being forced to compete against biological male athletes in competitive sports,” said Steube.
The bill is co-sponsored by Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, a QAnon supporter who has previously falsely claimed that school shootings in Parkland, Florida and Newtown, Connecticut were faked and that voter fraud played a part in the 2020 election — a claim which has been widely debunked. HR 426 is also supported by the United Conference of Catholic Bishops, a religious group with a history of anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric.
Unfortunately, this bill is similar to a number of other anti-trans and anti-LGBTQ+ policies that have been introduced in legislatures since Trump took office in 2016. A bill passed by Republicans last year is a similar measure that prohibits trans girls from participating in sports teams that align with their gender. Luckily, the HR 426 bill is unlikely to progress too far — especially considering that Democrats have control of both houses of Congress.