Vice President of Southern Finger Lakes Pride, Dante Acquavella, a non-binary, trans-masculine person, said House Republicans are not trying to protect women and girls, while they are also attempting to pass legislation that prohibits the use of abortion pills.
“It is disgraceful that this legislation was passed because the House Republicans are talking out of both sides of their mouths,” Acquavella said. “For people to sit here and really, really expect us to believe that we think this has anything to do with protecting women and girls…this has nothing to do with that. It has to do with legislating trans-bodies.”
After battling with gender dysmorphia, along with other struggles throughout the entirety of their life, Acquavella came to terms with their identity at the beginning of 2020. Before that, they identified as a cisgender lesbian until the age of 35.
“I started the process of hormone replacement therapy on April 7th of that year, and I started the process of changing my name…and then I started seeking out top surgery,” Acquavella said. “Everything sort of just came into focus and made sense…I was like, ‘oh, this is it.'”
Regarding the “Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act,” it would amend Title IX, which requires all educational institutions in the country to award male and female athletes’ equal opportunity.
Republican House Majority Leader Steve Scalise said the “Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act” would give people a level playing field to compete in sports. The bill comes two years after swimmer Lia Thomas, became the first openly transgender athlete to win an NCAA division one championship.
“The whole intention of Title IX was to create more opportunities for women to compete in sports and yet, it undermines the very fabric when you say a biological man can just play in a women’s sport if they choose to,” he said.”
The bill passed the House by a vote of 219 to 203. Congressman and congresswoman members for the Twin Tiers, including republicans Glenn Thompson of Pennsylvania, and Claudia Tenney and Nick Langworthy in New York all voted in favor.
“For more than 50 years, Title IX has increased athletic opportunities for females by more than 1,000 percent at the high school level and 614 percent at the post-secondary level,” Congressman Glen Thompson said. “The Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act of 2023 protects this progress and puts female athletes first. Women and girls deserve to compete on a level playing field and have their right to privacy remain intact. I was proud to support today’s vote and reaffirm my continued commitment to America’s female athletes.
“On National Girls and Women in Sports Day this February, I walked up the Capitol steps alongside tremendous female athletes to introduce the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act,” Congresswoman Claudia Tenney said. “Today, House Republicans kept yet another commitment to the American people by voting to pass this commonsense bill. Across the country, the Biden administration is allowing, even encouraging, biological men to participate in women’s sports. This is fundamentally unfair and diminishes equal opportunities for women in athletics, which we fought for decades to achieve. By passing this bill, we are protecting opportunities for female athletes to train, compete, and thrive.”
“Women have fought tirelessly to achieve fairness in athletics and this commonsense legislation ensures that their fight can continue progressing forward,” said Congressman Nick Langworthy. “This bill is about recognizing science and the biological differences that will protect women and girls’ safety and the integrity of competitive athletics. The passage of this bill is an important victory for women’s rights.”
This bill has only passed in the House. It now heads to the Senate, before it even makes its way to President Joe Biden’s desk.
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