Rep. Virginia Foxx (RN.C.) said Monday she did not know what a transgender person was during a hearing on federal legislation to ban transgender women and girls from competing on women’s sports teams.
“I don’t know what a trans girl is,” Foxx said Monday during a House hearing on HR 734, a bill that seeks to amend the Title IX definition of sex to refer to “reproductive biology and genetics at to be born” of a person.
The proposed law, also known as the “Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act,” is supported by 93 House Republicans. The White House said Monday that President Biden would veto the measure if it reached his desk.
When asked during Monday’s hearing if he believes transgender women are women, Fox responded in the negative.
“They are males, I’m sorry,” he said.
Rep. Thomas Massie (RK.Y.) said Monday that Foxx was not denying the existence of transgender people, but was “casting doubt on this fantasy that they could change their sex.”
“Right,” Foxx replied. “I don’t deny the existence of people who claim to be biologically one sex but identify as another, certainly there are people in this country who say that. My point was that you can’t change your biological sex. It has not been found to be possible.”
During Monday’s hearing, House Republicans repeatedly referred to transgender women as “biological men,” a term condemned by LGBTQ advocacy organizations for implying that transgender people lie about their identity.
Reps. Chip Roy (R-Texas) and Ralph Norman (RS.C.) repeatedly misconstrued the gender of former University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas, who last year became the first transgender athlete to win a national title. of the NCAA Division 1, and Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood, two former transgender high school athletes at the center of a lawsuit brought by four cisgender athletes in Connecticut.
During Monday’s hearing, Democrats pounced on Foxx’s unwillingness and Republicans to acknowledge transgender identities as they debated legislation that would have a major impact on their lives.
“It’s ridiculous,” said Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.). “You say you don’t even know what a trans woman or trans girl is, but you still want to ban them from playing sports.”
Foxx in response said that it shouldn’t matter if she is able to define what it means to be transgender because the word “transgender” does not appear in the bill.
“The word trans is nowhere in this bill,” Foxx said. “This bill says that if you are a biological man, you cannot participate against biological women. It’s as simple as that.”
Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.), one of 13 openly LGBTQ members of Congress and co-chair of the House Equality Caucus, said the bill, whether or not it directly mentions transgender people, would further stigmatize and isolate more transgender student athletes than their peers.
“Trans children need our protection, not stigmatization, and even though these words are not in the text of the bill, the effect of this bill would be exactly that,” he said.
At least 21 states since 2020 have adopted laws or policies that prohibit transgender athletes from competing on school sports teams based on their gender identity.
The Biden administration earlier this month condemned blanket bans that “categorically” bar transgender athletes from participating in sports, but said individualized policies may be allowed under a set of proposed changes to Title IX.
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