Lankford, Loeffler Lead Charge to Defend Women and Girls in Sports
WASHINGTON, DC – Senators James Lankford (R-OK), Kelly Loeffler (R-GA), Mike Lee (R-UT), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Tom Cotton (R-AR) introduced the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act to make it a violation of Title IX for a school that receives federal education funds to permit a biological male to participate in a program designated for women and girls.
Under the bill, schools that allow biological males to compete against women and girls in sports—disrupting the goals established by Title IX—would be in danger of losing federal funding. For example, a high-profile case in Connecticut resulted in two biological males winning 15 women’s track championship titles previously held by nine women. One of these males set a first-place record for the women’s track event, which would have been 140th place in men’s track. The males also prevented the women from advancing to regional meets, taking away an opportunity for the women to compete in front of college scouts.
“When Title IX was passed and signed into law, the intent was to ensure equal access for men and women in education, including sports,” said Senator Lankford. “Permitting biological males to participate in women’s sports rejects the very spirit of Title IX, which was intended to create an equal playing field for women and girls. This bill upholds and reiterates congressional intent and promotes actual equality for women and girls in sports by respecting the dignity of biological female athletes across the nation.”
“Title IX established a fair and equal chance for women and girls to compete, and sports should be no exception,” said Senator Loeffler. “As someone who learned invaluable life lessons and built confidence playing sports throughout my life, I’m proud to lead this legislation to ensure girls of all ages can enjoy those same opportunities. This commonsense bill protects women and girls by safeguarding fairness and leveling the athletic field that Title IX guarantees.”
“Men and women are biologically different,” said Senator Lee. “That’s just a scientific fact. For the safety of female athletes and for the integrity of women’s sports, we must honor those differences on a fair field of competition.”
“Maintaining the integrity of healthy competition is crucial for the future of women and girls in sports,” said Senator Blackburn. “Schools and universities that allow males to participate in women’s sports defeats the purpose of Title IX.”
“At their best, sports teach our kids fundamental lessons about fairness and integrity in a safe environment—but there’s nothing fair, honest or safe about allowing men to compete in sports leagues designed solely for women,” said Senator Cotton. “This bill will preserve the sports leagues and teams that allow women and girls to excel as athletes. And it will defend the commonsense principle that women’s sports are for women. It’s tragic but unsurprising that such a defense is necessary.”
“It’s a sign of real leadership from Senators Loeffler, Lee, Blackburn, Lankford and Cotton to introduce this bill protecting the integrity, equality, and safety of women’s and girls’ sports. Our daughters deserve a level playing field,” said Ryan Anderson, The Heritage Foundation.
“Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee thanks Senators Loeffler, Lee, Blackburn, Lankford and Cotton for standing with us at the forefront of the fight to protect equal opportunity in women’s sports,” said Penny Nance, Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee CEO and President. “We applaud their leadership in the U.S. Senate introducing the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act of 2020, which recognizes that female student-athletes are denied their rights when Title IX is not used to defend them. Women and girls, regardless of political persuasion, deserve to have the laws that protect us respected and followed, ensuring equal opportunities and benefits in sports for all female athletes.”
The Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act is targeted toward addressing biological sex within women and girls’ sports under Title IX and recognizes sex based solely on a person’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth.
The legislation is supported by American Principles Project, Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee, Heritage Action for America, Family Research Council, Family Policy Alliance, Independent Women’s Forum, Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF) and Save Women’s Sports.