The White House announced on Monday that Joe Biden intends to veto legislation that would prevent biological males from participating in women's sports should it pass both houses of Congress.
The Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act, or H.R. 734, was introduced by Florida Republican Rep. Greg Steube. It is expected to come up for a vote on the House floor sometime this week.
"The Administration strongly opposes House passage of H.R. 734," the White House said in a statement.
The House Education and Workforce Committee approved the legislation in a 25-17 vote. All Republicans on the committee voted for it, and only Democrats voted against it.
"For students nationwide, participating in sports and being part of a team is an important part of growing up, staying engaged in school, and learning leadership and life skills. H.R. 734 would deny access to sports for many families by establishing an absolute ban on transgender students — even those as young as elementary schoolers— playing on a team consistent with their gender identity," the White House statement said.
Under Steube’s bill, educational institutions that receive Title IX funding from the federal government would not be allowed to "permit a person whose sex is male to participate in an athletic program or activity that is designed for women or girls."
The bill says that the sex of an athlete would be recognized only by their "reproductive biology and genetics at birth." The legislation would allow transgender female athletes to train or practice in a girls’ athletic program, but only if no biological female athlete is deprived of a roster spot.
The White House statement said: "Discrimination has no place in our nation’s schools or on our playing fields. Instead of addressing the pressing issues that families and students face today—such as raising teacher pay, keeping guns out of schools, addressing the mental health crisis our youth face, and helping students learn and recover academically from unprecedented disruptions — Congressional Republicans have instead chosen to prioritize policies that discriminate against children."
If Biden "were presented with H.R. 734, he would veto it," the statement added.
Riley Gaines, a former All-American swimmer from the University of Kentucky who competed against hulking biological male Lia Thomas, slammed Biden's veto threat, saying he "has declared that science, truth and common sense no longer matter." In opposing the bill, "Biden is catering to a radical minority at the expense of women, who are 51% of the population."
"Equal opportunity, privacy and safety in our sports shouldn’t be controversial. The women who once advocated for Title IX should be outraged as this goes against everything they fought for. Female athletes of all ages, levels and sports deserve better," Gaines added.
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