Story at a glance
- Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard apologized for her past anti-LGBTQ+ views during her presidential campaign.
- Now, she has introduced a bill limiting Title IX protections based on biological sex, excluding transgender Americans.
- While the bill is popular among some conservative Americans, Gabbard is also facing backlash for the bill.
On the presidential campaign trail back in January, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard apologized for past anti-LGBTQ+ views and committed to fighting for LGBTQ+ rights. But a new bill stripping transgender rights under Title IX is sending another message.
My views have changed significantly since then, and my record in Congress over the last 6 years reflects what is in my heart: A strong and ongoing commitment to fighting for LGBTQ+ rights.— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) January 17, 2019
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On Thursday, Gabbard introduced the “Protect Women’s Sports Acts,” which aims to do what the name says by limiting the protections extended under title IX of the Education Amendments to “biological sex as determined at birth by a physician.” Transgender and other gender-nonconforming athletes would no longer be protected from discrimination in education programs or activities that receive federal funding and transgender women would be disallowed from such programs entirely.
“Title IX was a historic provision … to provide equal opportunity for women and girls in high school and college sports. It led to a generational shift that impacted countless women, creating life-changing opportunities for girls and women that never existed before,” Gabbard said in a statement. “However, Title IX is being weakened by some states who are misinterpreting Title IX, creating uncertainty, undue hardship and lost opportunities for female athletes. 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.”
The news provoked immediate backlash online from the LGBTQ+ community and its advocates.
Tulsi Gabbard: assigned Republican at birth. https://t.co/KLZmL2VFpy— Sarah McBride (@SarahEMcBride) December 11, 2020
Tulsi Gabbard has a history of discriminating against the LGBTQ community so this is awful but not surprising. Glad she is leaving Congress. Good riddance! https://t.co/sqdWkdZwzG— Adam Best (@adamcbest) December 11, 2020
“Transgender and gender non-conforming youth deserve community and acceptance and nothing less. In her final days in Congress, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard appears to be throwing a discriminatory ‘Hail Mary’ in her attempts to be relevant again. Throughout her career in public office, Gabbard has been inconsistent in her support of LGBTQ people and failed time and again to support our community when we needed her most. While she may get a few headlines by targeting some of the most vulnerable members of our community, transgender children, Gabbard has lost all credibility as an ally. Our community, especially its children, deserve acknowledgement, love and dignity and nothing less," said the Human Rights Campaign in a statement.
Gabbard, who dropped out of the presidential race in March, did not run for re-election in the House of Representatives and will end her term in January 2021. Since assuming office in 2013, she voted and lobbied against same-sex marriage in her state, as well as civil unions and opposed research on students' sexuality.
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