Florida state representative Greg Steube recently put forward a bill which could ban trans girls from participating in school sports. Bill H.R. 426, otherwise known as the ‘Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act of 2021’, argues students should be recognised solely on their sex assigned at birth and states: “It shall be a violation of subsection for a recipient of Federal funds who operates, sponsors, or facilitates athletic programs or activities to permit a person whose sex is male to participate in an athletic program 9 or activity that is designated for women or girls.”
Steube argued the policies are aimed at protecting cisgender girls: “By forcing biological female athletes to compete against biological male athletes in competitive sports, we are taking away women’s opportunities on and off the field. These unfair policies discount the hard work and determination put in by our female athletes and give biological male athletes an unfair advantage in joining teams, setting records and earning scholarships.”
Similar regulations are being considered in Montana, with lower legislators in the state recently approving a bill to ban trans students from participating in sporting categories which align with their gender identity. However, president Joe Biden signed an executive order last week which prohibits discrimination against trans students, thus ensuring them access to single-sex spaces and sports facilities. This means both Montana and Florida could lose government funding if they bar young trans people from participating in sports.
Biden’s order states: “Children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports. It is the policy of my administration to prevent and combat discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.”