CV NEWS FEED // The House of Representatives on Thursday narrowly passed a bill that would prevent men from competing on women’s sports teams, but Democrats in the Senate plan to defeat the legislation and President Biden has already threatened to veto it should it reach his desk.
H.R. 734, also known as the “Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act of 2023,” passed on a party-line vote of 219-203, with no Democrats voting in favor and no Republicans opposed.
Multiple Democratic House members were so opposed to the legislation that they used the words “bullying” and “hate” to describe it. One Democrat, Rep. Mark Takano, D-CA, stated that merely debating the bill on the House floor was “traumatizing” to him. Takano notably appeared in The Daily Wire’s popular documentary What is a Woman?, in which he abruptly walks out of his interview, refusing to answer the title question.
President Joe Biden announced on Monday that he will veto the bill if it ever reaches him.
The legislation was sponsored by Rep. Greg Steube, R-FL. On February 1, upon announcing the current version of the bill, he referred to the story of college swimmer Emma Weyant, who is from his Congressional district. Weyant, as Steube recounted in a press release, “was robbed of her  NCAA Championship in the 500 Freestyle by a biological male, Lia Thomas.” The Congressman continued:
Floridians and Americans across the country are rightly outraged at what has become of women’s sports. We’ve seen time and time again how the far left only favors fairness when it aligns with their woke agenda. That’s why today, I’m pleased [to] reintroduce legislation that ensures women and girls a fair playing field in competitive sports.
H.R. 734’s official summary states that it “generally prohibits school athletic programs from allowing [men] to participate in programs that are for women or girls,” defining the admission of males into girls’-only sports arenas or teams as “a violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.” The bill has garnered 93 cosponsors, all Republicans – 42% of the Party’s House caucus.
President Biden’s stated reason for opposing additional protections for women’s and girls’ sports was that doing so was “discrimination” against “transgender youth.” Biden’s Office of Management and Budget issued the following statement Monday:
The Administration strongly opposes House passage of H.R. 734…H.R. 734 targets people for who they are and therefore is discriminatory. Politicians should not dictate a one-size-fits-all requirement that forces coaches to remove kids from their teams. At a time when transgender youth already face a nationwide mental health crisis, with half of transgender youth in a recent survey saying they have seriously considered suicide, a national law that further stigmatizes these children is completely unnecessary, hurts families and students, and would only put students at greater risk. Discrimination has no place in our nation’s schools or on our playing fields.
Retired collegiate swimmer and women’s rights activist Riley Gaines slammed Biden for his decision, stating that the president is “catering to a radical minority at the expense of women, who are 51% of the population.” Like Weyant, Gaines also lost out on a trophy due to being forced to compete against Thomas during the 2022 NCAA Division I Women’s Swimming Championships.
A group of 40 athletes recently signed a letter opposing the bill as well, echoing the president’s sentiments that it would foster “exclusion” for people who identify as “transgender.” The signatories include LGBTQ activist soccer player Megan Rapinoe and her partner (who she claims to be “married” to), former WNBA player Sue Bird.
In an exclusive LOOPcast interview with CatholicVote’s Tom Pogasic, Gaines criticized the letter.
These are women who are successful in their sport, yet they want to take away other women’s success, and their opportunities, and their dreams to achieve. And so I’m looking, and something I notice with a lot of these women, of course, like I mentioned, they’re done playing.
It’s, you know, why not be seen as “inclusive” when you don’t have to lose out?
On Tuesday morning, Rep. Chip Roy, R-TX, who voted for the legislation, tweeted out a clip of him on the House floor saying: “This is happening. Riley Gaines didn’t just make it up. We actually have eyes! We can actually look at the screen and see Lia Thomas, and go, well… That was a guy!”
Now that it has passed in the House, H.R. 734’s fate rests in the Democratic-controlled Senate, where it will almost certainly fail to reach a vote.