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More than three dozen current and former athletes have signed a letter expressing their opposition to a measure that would stipulate that permitting males to play in female sports represents a violation of Title IX — the proposal is aptly dubbed the "Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act of 2023."
"It shall be a violation of subsection (a) for a recipient of Federal financial assistance 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," the measure states. "For the purposes of this subsection, sex shall be recognized based solely on a person’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth."
Leftist soccer player Megan Rapinoe was one of the athletes to sign the letter opposing the proposal.
"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. 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. This will deter girls from participating in sports and create additional barriers. Denying children access to a place where they can gain significant mental and physical health benefits, and learn lifelong lessons that come from being part of a team and working hard towards your goals does not protect women in sports," the letter states, according to Athlete Ally.
Ongoing cultural debate rages over whether males who identify as females should be permitted to compete in girls' and women's sports.
The U.S. Department of Education recently put forward a Title IX regulation proposal that would only allow for sex-based segregation in school sports when certain conditions are met.
"If a recipient adopts or applies sex-related criteria that would limit or deny a student's eligibility to participate on a male or female team consistent with their gender identity, such criteria must, for each sport, level of competition, and grade or education level: (i) be substantially related to the achievement of an important educational objective, and (ii) minimize harms to students whose opportunity to participate on a male or female team consistent with their gender identity would be limited or denied," the proposed regulation reads.
"The proposed rule would apply to public K-12 schools, as well as colleges, universities, and other institutions that receive federal funding," a press release noted.
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Alex Nitzberg is a staff writer for Blaze News.