Title IX Activists and Advocates Condemn Proposed Federal Anti-Trans Sports Ban

Advocates for Youth is appalled to see that the attacks on transgender young people have escalated to Congress. We are strongly opposed to H.R. 734, a harmful and discriminatory federal bill that would create a blanket ban under Title IX to prevent transgender women and girls- at all levels of education- from playing on sports teams consistent with their gender identity. This bill has been named the “Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act of 2023.” 

This false concern about protecting athletic opportunities for women and girls is a pretext to discriminate against transgender, nonbinary, and intersex students. “This is a cruel discrimination attempt under the guise of protecting women and girls. Let’s be clear: requiring schools to verify every student’s ‘reproductive biology and genetics at birth’ as per the wording of the bill, will violate the privacy and dignity of all students,” said Amber Barcel, Director of Public Policy at Advocates for Youth.

Know Your IX youth activists have spent a decade working for the full enforcement of Title IX. Unlike proponents of discriminatory sports bans, young people are focused on addressing the serious and longstanding gender inequities in school sports – such as inequitable treatment of women’s and girls’ sports teams compared to men’s and boys’ teams when it comes to facilities, equipment, and travel, as well as the crisis of sexual abuse that student-athletes of all genders and ages continue to face. 

“H.R. 734 is a dangerous and gross misinterpretation of the vision of Title IX, and is nothing more than an attempt to codify discrimination against transgender students,” said Know Your IX Policy Organizer Zoey Brewer. “Transphobic lawmakers champion H.R. 734 as a means of achieving ‘gender equity,’ but continue to ignore the very real risk of sexual violence that students — and especially transgender students — face in their schools and athletics programs.”

To that end, Advocates for Youth and Know Your IX continue to implore the Biden administration to quickly release an inclusive Title IX athletics rule clarifying strong protections for the rights of all students. The introduction of H.R. 734 proves that this need for an inclusive Title IX athletics rule has become absolutely critical. 

As advocates for gender equity in education, we seek to actualize Title IX’s mandate that all students- including transgender, nonbinary, and intersex students- must be able to access the benefits of an education free from sex discrimination, including athletics. This is essential to achieve gender equity in education and ensure all students feel supported and can thrive in school.