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March 01, 2023 | In The News

Heritage Action Endorses Legislation Protecting Women’s Sports From Transgender Athletes

Town Hall – This week, Heritage Action for America, which is affiliated with the Heritage Foundation, announced that co-sponsorships on legislation intended to protect women’s sports will become “key votes” on its overall legislative scorecard for members of Congress.

According to Heritage Action’s website, “key votes” are meant to “identify conservative priorities and provide accountability for lawmakers on principled votes.” In addition, Heritage Action keeps a detailed scorecard for each Congress detailing how each elected official voted on these important pieces of legislation meant to uphold conservative values. 

The latest key vote to be added to Heritage Action’s scorecard pertains to Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s (R) and Florida Rep. Greg Steube’s (R) “Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act of 2023.” The House bill was introduced on Feb. 1 as part of National Girls and Women in Sports Day in response to the Biden administration’s push to rewrite Title IX to include the concept of “gender identity.” The co-sponsorship of this bill was announced this week.

In recent years, as Townhall has covered, biological males who claim to identify as women have infiltrated women’s sports, and, in some cases, robbed them of accolades and opportunities. The bills in the House and the Senate protect women’s sports by strengthening Title IX protections to ensure that only biological females participate in women and girls sports.

Jessica Anderson, Heritage Action’s executive director, explained that allowing transgender athletes on women’s teams puts them “under threat of being erased entirely.”

“The Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act would allow women to thrive in sports by making it a violation of federal law for a recipient of federal funds who operates, sponsors, or facilitates athletic programs to allow men to participate in women’s athletic teams or programs. Heritage Action is key voting cosponsorship of this bill and encouraging every member of Congress who cares about the safety, opportunities, and privacy of women and girls to support this legislation,” she said.

“Throughout my coaching career, I saw the incomparable success of Title IX and the educational and personal opportunities sports have provided to millions of female athletes. For more than 50 years, this law has empowered young women to grow personally, compete professionally, and receive scholarships to further their education,” Sen. Tuberville told Townhall.

“The positive impacts of a fair playing field in women’s sports are unmatched, but the Biden administration is forcing female athletes to the sidelines by allowing biological males to compete where they do not belong,” he continued. “It’s unfair, it’s unsafe, and it’s wrong. We cannot stand by and let girls and women in sports lose to the radical left’s agenda. I am proud to introduce this legislation, and will continue fighting to preserve a level playing field for all current and future female athletes.”

“By allowing biological males onto women’s teams and into women’s locker rooms, the woke Left is working to completely wipe away women’s sports. The best way to counter Biden’s dangerous rewrite of Title IX is for Congress to pass the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act. Every student, parent, teacher, and citizen deserves to know where their member of Congress stands on this issue,” Steube told Townhall.

On Feb. 1, Townhall spoke to Riley Gaines, a former swimmer for the University of Kentucky who competed against biological male “transgender” swimmer Will “Lia” Thomas at the NCAA swimming championships last year. Gaines tied with Thomas, but Thomas got to take the trophy home. 

“Within the past year, in terms of progress, there has not been a clear solution to the problem [of transgender athletes] at hand. There has still been an influx of biological men competing in women’s sports,” Gaines, who is a spokeswoman at the Independent Women’s Forum, told Townhall. “I think the Lia Thomas situation, bringing this to the national stage, opened a door. People see an opportunity when they see this, and they’re willing to take advantage of it. At the expense of, of course, female athletes.”

In a panel discussion with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Gaines shared that female athletes have been forced to share locker rooms with their female-identifying male teammates. In some cases, the athletes have been told to seek counseling and other forms of support if they feel uncomfortable about this. 

The House bill, which was filed the same day, explained that allowing biological males to take awards, roster spots, and scholarships from females is discriminatory and illegal. 

“The Steube bill was filed this morning, which was phenomenal,” Gaines said of the legislation. “It upholds title IX the way it was supposed to be upheld.”