House Democrats joined the three Republicans on Thursday to approve the Equality Act, which aims to expand anti-discrimination laws to include gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people – but the potential impact of trans athletes in student sports On conservative objections about.
Bill 224–206 passed and was deferred by Democrats as a historic progression toward fairness. But Republicans rejected the bill for several possible implications, including the possibility that biologically female student athletes could cause harm to transgender classmates.
State and local education boards are Miscellaneous Policies Student athletics and trans athletes are already allowed in some public school systems. If the bill became law, it would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964, including later Title IX protections for female athletes, which would ban discrimination on the basis of gender or gender identity.
Tennis star Martina Navratilova and four-time Olympic gold medalist runner-up Sanya Richards-Ross debate A 2019 session-ed Bill that passed 236–173 That year, it would ensure that “there will always be a significant number of boys and men who will beat the best girls and women in a face-to-face competition.”
Sports professionals wrote: “We support transgender women and girls and their right to equality, and we recognize their personal struggles. We do not worry that boys and men will oppose transgender identity in order to gain an advantage. But we hope that lawmakers will not make the unnecessary and ironic mistake of sacrificing an enormous amount of valuable social good to female sports in their efforts to secure the rights of transgender women and girls. “
Similar concerns were raised with an anti-discrimination executive order signed last month by President Biden that critics said the professional sports league for women could be forced to accept transgender applicants.
During a congressional debate on Thursday, conservatives said the bill – which faces an uncertain fate in the Senate due to equally divided controls and the need for 60 votes – could also allow the taxpayer to finance abortions and Gender-separated homeless shelters may end.
But the treatment of transgender athletes attracted the most attention.
The debate erupted in the halls of congressional office buildings, with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green (R-Ga) hanging a transgender flag outside the office, along with Rep. Mary Newman (D-Ill.), Who shared the hallway with advertisements. Revenge. Sign that read, “There are two genders.”
Rep. Tom McClintock (R-California) said the bill “destroys women’s sports” by requiring sports organizations and schools to accept transgender athletes as women.
Rep. Vicky Hortler (R-Mo.) Said, “As someone enjoyed the sports and coaching high school track for many years, it is heartbreaking to imagine the harm that women and girls can do with these policies.”
But Rep. Sean Shawnee (D-NY) accused Republicans of hiding their true motives.
“Why hide behind the ridiculous, easily embarrassing arguments. Misunderstandings and fears about the locker room and women’s sports and religious practices that will never harm? Why not just say what they really mean ? ”Maloney said.
“I will ask for them. Their real argument, the only honest argument is that they believe that LGBT people are morally inferior and that we should be allowed firing. “
The US Supreme Court ruled last year that gay and transgender people cannot be fired under current federal anti-discrimination laws. The Equality Act will expand anti-discrimination protection for housing, public housing and education.
As part of the detailed objections, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) Said the bill “preempts federal law that prohibits the use of federal money for abortions” to include conception, childbirth or related therapies. for. The condition ‘- which has been considered by the courts and the EEOC to mean abortion – is the definition of sex. “
But the Bronx Rape. Richie Torres (D-NY), one of nine gay and lesbian house members, said, “We are here to uphold the disgusting truth of the American experiment that we are all equal.” And none of us should be evicted, fired or denied because of who we are. “
Rape Burgess Owens (R-Utah), a black Mormon, said, “The issues discussed as part of the Equality Act are important. [and] The amendment to the Civil Rights Act to include sexual rights would be a historic step, ”but Owens said he disagreed with the specifics.
“The Equality Act would dramatically expand the definition of public housing to include any place of public gathering, any establishment that provides a service, such as a food bank or homeless shelter,” he said.
Owens said Catholic shelters cannot legally have a separate facility for women to prevent sexual violence, and Orthodox Jewish congregations may be forced to host mixed-religion weddings.
Many Republican speakers said they were angry that the bill prevented the use of the Religious Freedom Restoration Law as a legal defense for people who stopped their religion from practicing law.