Call it What it is: The Republican Party’s New Anti-Trans Bill


Members of the House of Representatives leave after the passage in the House of a bill that would bar federally supported schools and colleges from allowing transgender athletes whose biological sex assigned at birth was male to compete on girls or women’s sports teams at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, April 20, 2023. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

In 1972, President Richard Nixon signed into law Title IX which protects Americans attending federally funded education programs from any sex-based discrimination. Title IX has mainly benefitted women by promoting equality in educational institutions, especially in sports. Under the Biden administration, there have been attempts to change Title IX to protect transgender athletes from being banned from sports teams that align with their gender identity. Unsurprisingly, the Biden administration has received pushback from the Republican Party, which has made it their duty to protect girls’ and women’s sports from being taken over by biological males.”

On April 20, the majority Republican House of Representatives passed the “Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Actthat would ban transgender student-athletes from participating in sports teams that align with their gender identity. The Republican Party is mainly targeting athletes who transition from male to female from participating on female teams. The bill was passed on “a strictly party-line 219-203 vote.  In the unlikely event that the Democrat majority Senate passes the bill, The White House has vowed that President Joe Biden will veto it. Furthermore, The White House has admonished the bill saying, “H.R. 734 targets people for who they are and therefore is discriminatory.”

Even though it likely won’t get passed, the Republican’s new bill could contribute to the current mental health crisis among transgender children, who often feel isolated from their cisgender counterparts. 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services finds that transgender children’s “mental health and wellbeing is put at risk by policies that seek to restrict their access to appropriate health care and inclusion at school.” Sports are a place for children to build community and bond with their peers. This bill would be another way that transgender children are excluded from society. 

This bill comes after a series of similar bills have been passed in at least 20 state legislatures. The most notable is in North Carolina, which passed a bill banning transgender girls from participating in women’s sports teams last Wednesday. North Carolina Republicans have pushed the idea that allowing transgender women to participate on women’s sports teams is a safety issue for cisgender females.

Payton McNabb, a volleyball player who suffered injuries after a transgender girl spiked a ball in her face, urged state representatives to pass a bill banning transgender athletes. The Republican Party often uses anecdotal evidence, like McNabb’s case, in order to push its agenda. That agenda asserts that transgender women are preying on cisgender women and their sports teams. Furthermore, this perpetuates the idea that transgender individuals are sexual predators and deviants. 

Representative Lisa McClain of Michigan is very outpoken on this issue saying, “Young girls are being exposed to male genitalia and have to undress themselves and expose their own bodies to these biological males.” 

Based on the rhetoric surrounding this issue, it is clear that the Republican Party is attempting to create panic among Americans. Even the name of the bill is reminiscent of reactionary, conservative rhetoric. Instead of the “Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act”, I think the Republican Party should just be honest and name it the “Anti-Trans Act.” It’s clear to me that the Republican Party doesn’t actually care about the integrity of women’s sports. The Republican Party is just attacking the transgender community in every way that it can. The idea that there is a real physical threat to cisgender women in sports seems absolutely preposterous and based on a few incidents that don’t reflect the true reality of the situation. Whether it’s drag queens or bathroom politics, the Republicans seem to make it their duty to create panic out of virtually nothing.  

The Republican Party seems to feel more outrage about this situation than the current school shooting crisis plaguing American schools. Even though more guns are killing students every year than transgender student-athletes just trying to participate in sports comfortably, there seems to be no rush from the Republican Party to pass any gun control bills in the House of Representatives any time soon.