Prominent women’s groups have stayed silent on the Biden administration’s plan to block states from banning transgender students from competing against the gender they identify as.
Last week, the House passed legislation aimed at preventing biological males from competing as transgender athletes in girls’ and women’s sports at schools across the country. During the process, several Democrats accused Republicans of “bullying” transgender students by calling up the bill.
House passage sends the bill to the Senate, where Democrat leaders are unlikely to take it up, and President Biden has said he would veto the bill if it made it to his desk.
The Biden administration has unveiled its proposal for new Title IX rules to expand the meaning of sexual discrimination to include gender identity as it relates to the application for transgender athletes participating in women’s sports. Under the Department of Education’s proposed rule, no school or college that receives federal funding would be allowed to impose a “one-size-fits-all” policy that categorically bans transgender students from playing on sports teams consistent with their gender identity. Such policies would be considered a violation of Title IX.
Fox News Digital reached out to several prominent women’s groups asking, “Does your group feel transgender women should be allowed to compete in sports with biological women? Is this something President Biden should get involved with?”
Ultra Violet, Center for Reproductive Rights, Plan International, Women for Women International, Equality Now, Global Fund for Women, Gender at Work, The International Center for Research on Women, Gender Equality Resource Center, Save the Children, Human Rights Watch and International Women’s Development Agency are among the groups that didn’t respond.
The Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act passed in a 219-203 House vote, on straight party lines.
Republicans defended the bill as an attempt to spare women and girls from having to compete against transgender women and girls — biological males who can sometimes dominate these sports and prevent some female athletes from making the team.
Republicans also accused Democrats of pursuing transgender rights to an illogical end that goes against the intent of Title IX, which most credit with dramatically expanding participation in women’s sports.
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona has said that he supports allowing biological male transgender people to compete in women’s sports. He said during his confirmation hearing that it is “critically important” that educators and school systems “respect the rights of all students, including students who are transgender” and that all students should be able to participate in activities.
The issue has been at the forefront since Riley Gaines, a former decorated NCAA swimmer at Kentucky, was forced to compete against transgender swimmer Lia Thomas last year.
Gaines, now a spokeswoman for the Independent Women’s Forum, famously tied Thomas for fifth place in the 200 Freestyle finals at the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships last year. Thomas’ situation sparked a national debate over whether transgender woman should be permitted to compete in sports against biological women. Gaines’ side-eye glare at Thomas became a flashpoint for the polarizing debate, and the former Kentucky swimmer has since emerged as a conservative icon for speaking out.
While many groups have remained silent, the Independent Women’s Forum has been at the forefront of the fight to protect women’s sports.
“We are fighting for all current and future female athletes to compete on a fair playing field just like our predecessors fought for our right to compete to begin with,” Independent Women’s Forum spokesperson Adriana McLamb told Fox News Digital.
Fox News’ Peter Kasperowicz, Andrew Mark Miller and Brandon Gillespie contributed to this report.