U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) speaks at the U.S. Capitol for a March 8, 2023, rally opposing a federal sports ban. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

40 Prominent Athletes Urge Congress to Drop Proposed Trans Sports Ban

A group of 40 prominent athletes including soccer player Megan Rapinoe and boxer Patricio Manuel signed a letter Monday urging lawmakers to drop a proposal introduced by House Republicans to ban transgender and intersex women and girls from playing on school sports teams.

The letter was issued by Athlete Ally, a nonprofit group that works towards creating more LGBTQ-inclusive athletic environments, just as momentum seems to be building for a federal proposal modeled after statewide bans that exclude trans and intersex women and girls from competing.

“Right now, transgender and intersex human rights are under attack,” the letter states, “with politicians in Washington, D.C., pushing forward H.R. 734, the so-called ‘Protection of Girls and Women in Sports Act,’ which would stipulate that Title IX compliance requires banning transgender and intersex girls and women from participating in sports.”

“If this bill passes, transgender and intersex girls and women throughout the country will be forced to sit on the sidelines, away from their peers and their communities,” the letter continues. “Furthermore, the policing of who can and cannot play school sports will very likely lead to the policing of the bodies of all girls, including cisgender girls.”

The legislation was introduced in February by U.S. Rep. Greg Steube (R-Fla.). A markup session was held in March, and on April 6, the House Rules Committee announced it may meet during the week of April 17 to provide for floor consideration of the proposal.

According to the Movement Advancement Project, 20 U.S. states now have laws barring trans students from participating in sports consistent with their gender identity.

Story courtesy of the Washington Blade via the National LGBTQ Media Association. The National LGBTQ Media Association represents 13 legacy publications in major markets across the country with a collective readership of more than 400K in print and more than 1 million + online. Learn more here: https://nationallgbtmediaassociation.com/