Twenty-eight congressional Democrats signed a letter on Wednesday condemning the Department of Education ruling that public schools that allow biological males who identify as transgender to compete in girls’ sports are violating Title IX civil rights legislation.
The letter charged that the department’s order “discriminates against transgender youth” by restricting girls’ sports to biological females.
“The decision of the Department of Education to issue a determination targeting transgender student athletes on the eve of Pride Month is not coincidental. It is a transparent example of their campaign against the rights and dignity of LGBTQ+ children,” Rep. Jahana Hayes of Connecticut, the letter’s lead signer, said in a news release.
The signers included seven representatives from Connecticut and five from California.
The Department of Education on May 15 issued a ruling stating that public schools that allow biological males into girls’ athletics are violating Title IX, which protects women’s access to education and athletics.
The Department of Justice previously backed a lawsuit filed by high school girls in Connecticut who said the state’s liberal transgender policies violated their rights.
Biological males who identify as transgender have racked up accomplishments in female athletics across the country.
Franklin Pierce University runner CeCe Telfer, for example, won an NCAA Division II women’s track championship in May 2019. Telfer is a biological male who identifies as a transgender female.
University of Montana runner June Eastwood, a biological male, was named the Big Sky Conference’s female athlete of the week in October 2019. Both Eastwood and Telfer previously competed on their universities’ men’s team before switching to the women’s team.
Rachel McKinnon, a biological male who identifies as transgender, won women’s cycling world championships in both 2018 and 2019.
Wednesday’s letter isn’t the first instance of Democratic politicians arguing in favor of allowing biological males into female athletics.
Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar in 2019 called for an investigation into USA Powerlifting for barring biologically male athletes from women’s events.
A piece of Democratic legislation called the Equality Act, which passed the House with unanimous support from Democrats, would require schools to allow biologically male athletes into girls’ sports if they identify as transgender.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, pledged to get the Equality Act passed into law within his first 100 days in office, if he wins the November election.
“Transgender equality is the civil rights issue of our time,” Biden wrote in a January tweet. “There is no room for compromise when it comes to basic human rights.”
Let’s be clear: Transgender equality is the civil rights issue of our time. There is no room for compromise when it comes to basic human rights.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) January 25, 2020
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