A coalition of transgender and nonbinary legislators sent a letter to President Joe Biden on Monday to voice their concern about the administration’s proposed changes to Title IX.
“We are fourteen of the transgender and nonbinary legislators holding office across the United States of America, and we are writing to express our concern regarding the Administration’s proposed rulemaking changes to the eligibility of transgender athletes in sports,” the legislators’ letter reads.
The coalition wrote in their letter that state legislatures in their home states have introduced legislation that prohibits trans athletes from competing in sporting events, noting that this year alone, 450 pieces of anti-legislation have been introduced across the U.S.
Zooey Zephyr, right, attends a legislative training session at the state Capitol in Helena, Mont., on Nov. 16, 2022. (Thom Bridge/Independent Record via AP)
“Twenty states have now passed sports bans, often targeting a mere handful of trans athletes in their respective states,” the letter reads. “While we understand the administration may have been attempting to provide legal protections & clarity, in actuality these proposed rule changes will simply provide those who seek to deny us our right a roadmap for how to do so.”
The coalition also noted that trans athletes should be allowed to participate in sports competitions, saying that people should start focusing on why trans individuals are “misrepresented in their participation, in their successes, and in athletic scholarships,” instead of focusing on “false narratives around the supposed advantages of trans athletes.”
The letter was signed by 14 legislators who identify as trans and nonbinary including Montana state Rep. Zooey Zephyr (D), Minnesota state Rep. Leigh Finke (D), New Hampshire state Rep. Alissandra Murray (D) and Vermont state Rep. Taylor Small (D).
LGBTQ advocates have criticized the Biden administration’s proposed revision to Title IX, accusing Biden of not fulfilling his commitment to protecting transgender youth.
A proposal released on Thursday by the Education Department would prohibit the adoption of policies that “categorically” ban transgender athletes from school sports teams consistent with their gender identity.
It adds that K-12 secondary schools under the administration’s proposal would still have the leeway to limit transgender athletes’ participation in sports if they determine that including them will undermine competitive fairness or increase the risk of sports-related injuries.
“We urge the Biden administration to revise this proposed policy in a way that allows trans people to fully participate in the sports of their choosing, and does perpetuate unfounded and harmful claims about trans athletes,” the lawmakers wrote in their letter. “We look forward to working together towards more equitable trans policies, and until those policies are reached, we will continue to fight for our constituents, and for all transgender Americans.”
Source: The Hill