WASHINGTON, DC (WOWK) – Congresswoman Carol Miller (R-WV) is co-sponsoring a new bill called the “Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act,” which would prevent transgender women from participating in women and girls’ sports and competing with women who were biologically born female.
Miller says the legislation was drafted to “make sure women and girls are allowed a fair playing field in competitive sports by ensuring that school athletics comply with the Title IX recognition of a person’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth.”
The bill was reintroduced to Congress by Representative Greg Steube (R-FL). Steube claims that allowing transgender athletes who were born male to compete in female sports gives them “an unfair advantage” over athletes who were born female.
If the bill were to pass, it would make it a violation of federal law for “a recipient of federal funds” who operates, sponsors or facilitates athletic programs or activities to allow a person whose sex at birth was male to participate in athletic programs or activities designated for women and girls.
Miller announced her involvement in the bill at a high school girls’ basketball game between Princeton High School and Greenbrier East High School.
“I was happy to cheer on both of these southern West Virginia teams during tonight’s game,” Miller. “Sports can teach athletes the values of teamwork, perseverance, and confidence. Friday night’s game showed how important it is for girls to have an equal chance to compete and learn these invaluable lessons. I am pleased to join my colleagues to protect athletic opportunities for girls in West Virginia and across the country.”
According to the U.S. Department for Education, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 states: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” It applies to schools and organizations that receive federal financial assistance from the U.S. DOE.
The organizations covered by Title IX include approximately 17,600 local school districts, more than 5,000 postsecondary institutions, as well as charter schools, for-profit schools, libraries, and museums. It also includes vocational rehabilitation agencies and education agencies throughout all 50 states.
Miller’s involvement in the bill comes after West Virginia Governor Jim Justice signed a bill passed by the West Virginia Legislature that bans transgender athletes from competing in female sports in middle and high schools and colleges. That bill narrowly passed the WV State Senate and then overwhelmingly approved in the House of Delegates.
At the time the bill was signed in West Virginia, the American Civil Liberties Union said “We will see West Virginia in court.”
The ACLU has not yet commented on the bill introduced to Congress.