The Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act passed in a 219-203 vote Thursday morning — all the “yes” votes came from Republicans, and all the “no” votes came from Democrats.
Republicans defended the bill as an attempt to spare women and girls from having to compete against transgender women and girls — biological males who can sometimes dominate these sports and prevent some female athletes from making the team. But several Democrats argued in debate that the GOP bill is an extension of the bullying that transgender students are already facing at school.
“This bill is about bullying children,” said Rep. Greg Landsman, D-Ohio. “Stop bullying children.”
“House Republicans are choosing to bully and belittle trans children,” argued Rep. Robert Garcia, D-Calif. “This is about attacking a small group of children, and it is shameful.”
“We should rename it the ‘cancel kids trans hate’ bill,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., said of the legislation. “This bill fuels a virulent hate campaign against kids who just want to play with their friends.”
Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif., said the bill would make school sports “less safe for women and girls,” and argued that even discussing the legislation on the House floor was doing harm to transgender students.
“This debate itself has been traumatizing,” he asserted.
Republicans rejected these arguments and said they are trying to protect girls’ and women’s sports from being taken over by biological males. Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., said Democrats are ignoring the “physical advantages” that men have over women and rejected Jayapal’s argument that the GOP is waging a “hate” campaign against transgender students.
“We hate no one,” Foxx said. “It is ridiculous that we have had to stand here today to defend the rights of women and girls to participate in sports against other women and girls and they not being taken advantage of by biological males.”