Senate Democrats voted against an amendment in the Covid-19 relief bill that would have kept women’s sports for women, by barring schools from receiving funding if biological males are allowed to compete against girls or women.
Joe Manchin of West Virginia was the only Demcrat who voted with Republicans to save women’s sports, but Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska joined the Democrats to block the amendment, which then failed 49-50.
Murkowski was the only Republican to vote against the amendment to protect female athletes.
The amendment offered by Sen. Tommy Tuberville was intended to preserve the sanctity of women’s sports and the intent of Title IX. The amendment was proposed Saturday amid a flurry of amendments from both sides of the aisle to the $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan.”
Title IX was sponsored and championed by Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens to ensure that schools do not discriminate in funding and opportunity for women to participate in athletic and educational opportunities. Stevens was known for championing the rights of girls and women.
Tuberville, in announcing his amendment, said that Title IX “ensures that young women have the same opportunities as young men, and the same access to funding, facilities, and athletic scholarships. Title IX has given young women the long-denied platform that had always been afforded to men. And today, America’s female athletes are routinely the best performing on the world stage. Under this amendment, educational institutions would prohibit from receiving funding if biological males are allowed to compete in women’s athletics. This amendment safeguards fairness for equality for women.”
In a twist on equity issues, schools across the country are now increasingly allowing transgender males to compete against female athletes. Tuberville’s amendment was an effort to build more of a firewall, so that girls would not be forced to compete against biologically stronger boys.
The amendment, while failing to pass, was part of the greater bill that did pass the Senate without Murkowski’s support, and is now on the way back to the House for a reconciliation vote.