Sep. 12, 2022

HARRISBURG—Continuing to uphold her promise to fight for the rights of women athletes, Rep. Barb Gleim (R-Cumberland) signed onto a letter with 61 of her colleagues to the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights urging the office to reverse its proposal to amend Title IX, which protects women’s sports from discrimination. The expansion of Title IX would remove the binary language under existing law and add sexual orientation and gender identity.

“This expansion in federal law would undo the past 50 years of female athletic advancements,” said Gleim, a former college athlete. “It would essentially erase a law millions of women have relied upon to protect their athletic opportunities.” 

As stated in the letter: “These proposed rule ‘changes’ do not change Title IX, rather they end Title IX as we know it, erasing 50 years of progress towards gender equality and women's academic and athletic achievement.” 

The members contend in the letter that redefining the term “sex” to include “gender identity" and "sexual orientation" will allow biological males to compete in women's sports, placing women and girls at a disadvantage both on the field and in the competition for athletic scholarships. 

“Biological males will be allowed in women’s spaces, as schools will be required to give biological men access to women's restrooms, locker rooms, showers and athletic facilities, violating women's basic right to privacy and creating a high-risk environment for women and girls in what previously were safe spaces,” the members wrote.

Gleim concluded, “It is my fervent hope the U.S. Department of Education recognizes the damage such an expansion could have on women’s sports and reverse its plan.”

In April, the General Assembly passed House Bill 972, the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, which would have prevented biological males from playing women’s sports in Pennsylvania; however, the governor vetoed it.

PA State Rep. Barbara Gleim
199th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives