Although he faced some fierce criticism from across the ideological spectrum during the presidential campaign, most of Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s former competitors have fallen in line behind him and his sometimes vague agenda in the wake of his media-declared win in last month’s election.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), however, has consistently marched to her own beat, as evidenced this week in her support of a bill challenging the stance of Biden and most Democrats on the subject of transgender rights.
“Biological sex-based distinctions”
After remaining in the 2020 presidential primary race until March, making her one of Biden’s final Democratic challengers, she suspended her campaign and endorsed the then-presumptive nominee.
That did not stop her from continuing to disrupt her party’s apple cart on hot-button issues, including whether trans students should be allowed to play on sports teams aligning with their assumed gender.
On Thursday, Gabbard reached across the aisle to join with Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) to introduce a piece of legislation called the Protect Women’s Sports Act. If successful, the bill would bar federal funding from educational institutions that allow transgender females — biological males living as females — to compete on teams designated solely for women or girls.
Specifically, the bill aims to clarify Title IX, a federal law created to provide equal protections to women and girls in educational settings — including high school and college athletics. In recent years, however, some progressives have increasingly pushed to redefine its language to include anyone identifying as female.
A joint press release from Gabbard and Mullin asserted: “This bill protects the sex-based intention of Title IX protections by reaffirming the biological sex-based distinctions between men and women in athletics.”
“Weakened by some states”
Recognizing Title IX as the “historic provision” she believes it is, Gabbard noted that it had been created “to provide equal opportunity for women and girls in high school and college sports,” prompting a “generational shift that impacted countless women, creating life-changing opportunities for girls and women that never existed before.”
Today, however, she argued that it is “being weakened by some states who are misinterpreting Title IX, creating uncertainty, undue hardship and lost opportunities for female athletes.”
In her statement, she pointed to the bill she is proposing would protect the “original intent which was based on the general biological distinction between men and women athletes based on sex.”
The congresswoman concluded with her belief that it is “critical that the legacy of Title IX continues to ensure women and girls in sports have the opportunity to compete and excel on a level playing field.”
Almost immediately, activists and pundits on the left lashed out at Gabbard, depicting her as intolerant. One HuffPost report assailed the language in her proposed legislation as “anti-transgender.”