Title IX in the United States, rule of law legislation has played a significant role in gender equality in athletics. It has also prevented sexual harassment on college and professional campuses. The law was signed into law by President Richard Nixon on June 23, 1973. Rep. Patsy Mink, the first black woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
This law, loosely translated, aims to achieve equality in education for all genders. It covers K-12, colleges and universities. This law also includes vocational schools, museums, and libraries.
Lia Thomas is currently fighting to change this legislation. She was the first transgender swimmer to win the NCAA Swimming Championship. Lia Thomas, backed by the Biden Administration, is against the Protection of Women’s Rights Bill, which discriminates transgender athletes.
Does Title IX protect LGBTQ+ athletes?
Although the law does not explicitly mention LGBTQ+ communities by name, it has been used in several cases to prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ educators and students. A 2020 ruling by the US Supreme Court also stated that LGBTQ people were protected from discrimination at work and in employment.
Currently, Biden’s administration works towards a broader interpretation of the law, which would include protection against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identification.
The US Congress will vote on the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act, also known as H.R. 734, introduced by Rep. Greg Steube this week. Lia Thomas and other transgender sportspeople are against the bill because it encourages discrimination and prohibits transgender females from participating in female sports in school and at college.
Lia Thomas: “This rule is good to start. It is not enough. In this time of anti-trans backlash the trans community requires explicit protection against discrimination in order to live their lives freely and equal. “We urge the Biden Administration to amend the rule to grant equal protection to transgender children.”
Lia Thomas has also been backed by White House who have stated that they will veto any bill put forward for voting. Thirty states in the U.S. have passed similar legislation, and 30 of them have banned biological males from living in female-only states. This includes Florida and North Dakota.
The White House says that such bills are “unnecessary.” and “hurt families and students.” In a statement, the White House elaborates.
“Discrimination is not welcome in our schools or on our sports fields.” In lieu of addressing pressing issues facing families and students today, such as raising teacher salaries, keeping guns out in schools, addressing mental health crises our youth are experiencing, and helping them learn and recover from unprecedented disruptions, Congressional Republicans prioritized policies that discriminate children .”
Many other opponents, besides the conservative faction of the Republican Party, also criticize the Biden administration for its lack of concern about protecting women and sports integrity. Riley Gaines calls Lia Thomas out and the White House saying “The Biden administration is actively and aggressively trying to pass laws which erase decent and fair treatments for women in sport.”