Sen. Lee Leads Legislation to Protect Women’s Sports

February 5, 2021

WASHINGTON – Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) yesterday led 13 of his colleagues in introducing the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act, legislation that would protect athletic opportunities for female athletes. 

“When transgender athletes compete against women, women’s sports are no longer women’s sports; they become unisex athletic events,” Sen. Lee said. “This bill would protect the opportunity of girls throughout America to athletically compete against other girls.” 

"As a doctor and a former coach, I find it un-American to allow biological boys to compete against biological girls when it comes to athletics. Growing up, sports taught me that there was a level playing field and that we all had equal opportunity to compete and win,” said Sen. Marshall. "Letting biological boys compete in biological girls’ high school and college sports is not equal, it doesn’t level the playing field, and it’s certainly not fair. I want every person, regardless of sex, to have access to opportunity, but this move by the Biden Administration shows no common sense and will bring about the destruction of women’s sports."

“In light of the recent push by Democrats to ignore biological science, I am proud to cosponsor this bill to protect women and girls’ right to play sports on their own terms, without fear of being forced to compete against biological men,” Sen. Cruz said. “Sadly, this commonsense legislation will likely be opposed by my colleagues on the other side of the aisle. Regardless of political correctness, Congress should support fair athletic competition and opportunity for girls and boys alike.”

“Female athletes deserve a fair chance at competition—this means fair victories and fair defeats,” said Sen. Blackburn. “Allowing males to compete in women’s sports denies female student athletes a level playing field to compete and achieve.”

“As a former track runner myself, I know the values, perseverance and teamwork you gain from playing a sport,” Sen. Inhofe said. “I think about my granddaughters—who all grew up playing sports—having to compete against individuals born as males. We are all equal, but we are not all the same and we need this action to protect the future of women’s sports. I am glad to join Sen. Lee’s bill today to protect athletic competition for all girls, just like my granddaughters.”

Specifically, the bill would ensure that Title IX provisions relating to athletics treat sex as that which is "recognized based solely on a person's reproductive biology and genetics at birth." Further, if any recipient of federal funding who operates, sponsors, or facilitates athletic programs or activities permits a male to participate in a women's sporting event, they would be found to be violation of the statutory regulations outlined in Title IX.

The full list of cosponsors includes: Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Senators James Lankford (R-Okla.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.). 

Outside organizations in support of the bill include: Concerned Women for American (CWA), American Principles Project (APP), Family Research Council (FRC), Ethics & Public Policy Center (EPPC), Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), Save Women’s Sports, Heritage Action for America (HAFA), Independent Women’s Forum (IWF), United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Family Policy Alliance, and Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF). 

To read what outside organizations are saying about the bill, see here.