Prospects dim for passage of LGBTQ rights bill in Senate

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05/09/2021

Controlling Congress and the White House for the first time in a decade, Democrats were hopeful this would be the year they finally secured civil rights protections for LGBTQ Americans. Then came a new debate over women’s and girls sports. Legislation that would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is running aground in the Senate, partly knocked off course by the nationwide conservative push against transgender participation in girls and women’s athletics that has swept state legislatures and now spilled into the halls of Congress. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said the House-passed legislation would “in effect repeal Title IX” by making it easier for transgender women to play on girls teams. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., said allowing “male-bodied athletes” to compete against females would “totally undermine” girls basketball. Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., said the bill would “decimate” female athletic competition. Democrats are frustrated by the shift in the debate, saying there’s ample evidence the Republican claims are false and overblown.

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