WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Ritchie Torres (NY-15), the first openly gay Afro-Latino elected to Congress, today denounced the final passage of H.R. 734 – the so-called “Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act” – or more appropriately, the “Politics over Participation Act”.
As Co-Chair of the Congressional Equality Caucus, Rep. Torres supports the caucus’ mission of promoting equality for all people regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or sex characteristics.
H.R. 734, however, is a dangerous bill that targets transgender and intersex youth for discrimination, deprives them of equal opportunity to compete and be members of their school or athletic community, and is so vaguely written it could force any girl to undergo invasive medical exams to “prove” their sex and answer deeply personal questions about their bodies and physical development to adults they might not even know.
“It’s become painfully obvious that extreme MAGA Republicans have no interest in addressing the very real problems facing Americans every day, like fighting inflation, protecting communities from gun violence, and making healthcare more affordable and accessible,” said Rep. Torres (NY-15). “Instead, they’re singularly obsessed with continuing this hateful and coordinate assault on LGBTQI+ kids that we’re seeing play out across the country through countless pieces of anti-trans, discriminatory legislation. But make no mistake. I will not fall for this lie of ‘protecting women’ as an excuse for a bill that will further traumatize trans youth. There are plenty of states, schools, and sports associations at all levels that for decades have allowed transgender athletes to compete fairly and consistently with their gender identity with no issues. We should follow their lead, stop putting politics over participation, and let the kids play.”
More than 95 leading women’s and girls’ rights organizations support full inclusion of all students in school sports and strongly oppose this bill, calling it a deceptive misnomer as it makes no effort to address actual, pervasive discriminatory barriers women and girls continue to face in athletics.