Democratic presidential candidate and former Texas Rep. Robert Francis "Beto" O'Rourke has unveiled a comprehensive plan aimed at helping the LGBTQ community. Within it, he endorses a law that would — in the name of "equality" — force public schools into allowing biological male athletes to compete against girls in team sports.
What are the details?
O'Rourke's LGBTQ platform lays out a framework for granting special treatment to LGBTQ individuals through a laundry list of executive, legislative, and global initiatives. In order "to ensure full equality," the plan states, the Equality Act must become law.
The House of Representatives passed the Equality Act in May. According to the Daily Caller, "among other things, the bill would force public schools to expand female athletic teams to include biological males who identify as transgender girls."
But several female athletes say that provision of the Equality Act actually makes things less equal for girls and women in sports. Tennis Hall of Famer Martina Navratilova, Olympic gold medalist Sanya Richards-Ross, and former track star Doriane Coleman wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post in April pointing out that allowing biological men to compete athletically against women defeats the purpose of having separate competitions for male and female genders.
"The reality is that putting male- and female-bodied athletes together is co-ed or open sport," the women wrote. "And in open sport, females lose."
Navratilova, Richards-Ross, and Coleman argued that passing the Equality Act would effectively dismantle hard-fought equal rights for female athletes under Title IX, which requires schools to provide the same opportunities for girls as they do for boys.
Those rights are already being chipped away, as males who identify as females have started dominating in high school athletics where they are allowed to compete against biological girls. O'Rourke's plan would strip that longstanding gender division in sports.
The O'Rourke campaign refused to comment on the issue when asked by the Daily Caller.
In addition to endorsing passage of the Equality Act, O'Rourke's comprehensive LGBTQ plan would "allow migrants seeking asylum to qualify as a 'vulnerable population' if they are gay," Reuters reported.
The former lawmaker would also create "a Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTQ+ people with the Department of State," according to his campaign.