All but one House Democrat co-sponsored a bill which would require schools to allow male athletes who identify themselves as female or transgender to compete on girls’ sports teams.
Two Republicans joined in to sponsor the Equality Act, which would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to make a person’s “sexual orientation and gender identity” protected against discrimination, the Daily Caller reports.
“Among other things, the bill would force public schools to expand female athletic teams to include biological males who identify as transgender girls,” the report adds.
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Sarah Warbelow, director of the left-wing Human Rights Campaign, praised the bill’s impact on high school sports in written testimony submitted to a House subcommittee on Tuesday.
“Opponents of equality in athletics for transgender athletes have argued that girls who are transgender have unfair physiological advantages over cisgender girls and as a result, will dominate women’s competitive sports,” Warbelow wrote, calling it not “rooted in fact” that biologically male athletes will outperform their female counterparts.
House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, a Democrat from New York, made a similar argument during an April 2 hearing his committee held on the legislation.
Republican Congressmen John Katko and Brian Fitzpatrick joined Democrats as co-sponsors on the bill. Democrat Congressman Dan Lipinski, who the Daily Caller reports is the only pro-life Democratic in the House, defected from co-sponsoring the bill.
“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 during the April 2 hearing, via the Daily Caller.
What Nadler failed to mention was that those male athletes participating in the girls’ sports are dominating their competition. According to the Daily Caller, in Connecticut, two male runners who identify as transgender won the state indoor and outdoor track championships.
The Associated Press reports:
Connecticut is one of 17 states that allow transgender high school athletes to compete without restrictions, according to Transathlete.com, which tracks state policies in high school sports across the country. Seven states have restrictions that make it difficult for transgender athletes to compete while in school, like requiring athletes to compete under the gender on their birth certificate or allowing them to participate only after going through sex-reassignment procedures or hormone therapies.
According to one of the two transgender athletes in the Connecticut track championships, Andraya Yearwood, there are no inherit benefits to being transgender in the sport.
“One high jumper could be taller and have longer legs than another, but the other could have perfect form, and then do better,” Yearwood said per the Associated Press. “One sprinter could have parents who spend so much money on personal training for their child, which in turn, would cause that child to run faster.”
“I have learned a lot about myself and about other people through this transition. I always try to focus most on all of the positive encouragement that I have received from family, friends and supporters,” Yearwood also said. “I use the negativity to fuel myself to run faster.”
Several of the athletes and their parents were not pleased with Connecticut’s decision, AP reports:
Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.
Jon Forrest, whose daughter is teammates with Soule, is among a group of parents seeking a similar change to Connecticut’s state policy.
He said they’d like to see the state adopt a hormone standard or allow transgender girls to run with other girls but have their results placed in a separate exhibition category.
“The facts show Glastonbury would be the state champion based on cisgender girls competing against cisgender girls,” he said. “You don’t realize it until you see it in person, the disparity in the ability to perform.”