This year marks 50 years since Title IX was enacted, and thus enshrined in federal law that discrimination based on sex was banned in education funding or programs.
But defining sex, or even a woman, is considerably more challenging in 2022 than it was in 1972.
Still, U.S. Rep. Greg Steube seeks to bring clarity to that issue.
This week, the Sarasota Republican moved to force a vote on his Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act of 2021.
The measure has a simple premise: “It shall be a violation of [Title IX] for a recipient of Federal funds who operates, sponsors, or facilitates athletic programs or activities to permit a person whose sex is male to participate in an athletic program or activity that is designated for women or girls.”
Moreover, it states sex “shall be recognized based solely on a person’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth.’’
Steube filed the bill the day after Joe Biden took office. The measure has languished in a House committee’s inbox ever since.
On Tuesday, though, Steube and Rep. Jim Banks, an Indiana Republican, filed what’s known as a “discharge petition.” The 81-year-old rule governing such action allows sponsors to bypass the committee system and force a vote on bills tabled by a House panel. To get there, a majority of lawmakers must sign the petition.
That seems doubtful in a House controlled by Democrats and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
In four days since filing his petition, Steube has picked up 107 total signatures – all Republicans and more than half of the GOP lawmakers in the House.
Assuming he gets all of the Republicans, Stuebe still needs seven Democrats to break ranks.
“Allowing biological males to compete in women’s sports is anti-science and an affront to female athletes around the country. We have seen this practice prevent talented athletes from achieving their goals, stripping them of records, rosters, and scholarships,” Steube said in a statement.
“By refusing to allow a vote on protecting women’s sports, Speaker Pelosi is enabling Congress to evade this critical and timely issue facing students across the country.”
Explaining the discharge petition, he added, “Instead of paying lip service to women, I hope my colleagues across the aisle will actually do something for women and girls by signing onto this petition.”
“As the left perpetuates a craze to eliminate gender, the American people deserve to know where their elected representatives stand on protecting women’s sports.”