(NewsNation) — Amid the renewed focus on transgender rights, one Republican lawmaker is reintroducing a piece of legislation that could upend new protections for transgender student-athletes.
Sen. Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., a former girls basketball coach, is reintroducing the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act aimed at banning public schools from permitting a “biological male” to compete with females and participate in women’s sports from elementary school through college, Turberville said in a media release.
The act defines gender as “recognized based solely on a person’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth,” rather than how an individual chooses to identify.
“It’s not fair, it’s not safe, and it’s wrong,” Tuberville said on NewsNation’s “Morning in America” Thursday.
The legislation has received the support of 19 of Tuberville’s Republican colleagues this year.
The bill comes amid expected changes to Title IX, the 1972 landmark statute created to protect against sex and gender discrimination in federally funded schools and universities. Under the 50-year-old civil rights statute, any institution, school, or university receiving federal funds for sports programs must not discriminate based on sex, and equal funding must be provided to both male and female athletes, according to the History Channel.
The Biden administration is finalizing new regulations for the 2023-2024 school year, which advocate for stronger protections for transgender and nonbinary students and against sexual violence in schools and universities. It also proposes expanding the definition of sexual harassment as well as offering more protections for pregnant and parenting students.
In May 2022, Tuberville warned that he planned to lead efforts against what he called a “misguided policy” in a letter sent to U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.
Nationwide, several states have sought to ban transgender participation in women’s and girls sports.
Since 2020, 18 states have authorized laws that bars transgender athletes from competing on school sports teams consistent with their gender identity, though preliminary injunctions are currently blocking the enforcement of bans in Idaho, West Virginia, Indiana and Utah.
Legislators in more than a dozen states this year have introduced similar measures. In Wyoming, a bill was passed earlier this month to prohibit transgender girls from competing on middle school and high school sports teams, sending the measure to Gov. Mark Gordon for final approval.