NAIA unanimously votes to ban transgender athletes in women’s sports, LGBTQ+ groups are outraged

A national college organization voted unanimously to ban transgender athletes in sports on Monday.

The Council of Presidents on the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics voted 20-0 to expand their previous restriction on postseason competition to all competitions.

“We know there are a lot of different opinions out there,” NAIA president Jim Carr said to CBS Sports.

“For us, we believed our first responsibility was to create fairness and competition in the NAIA,” Carr added. “We also think it aligns with the reasons Title IX was created. You’re allowed to have separate but equal opportunities for women to compete.”

The new policy restricts athletes from competing in female sports to those who were born female. It also restricts those competitions from athletes who have begun masculinizing hormone therapy as part of gender transitioning.

“It’s important to know that the male sports are open to anyone,” Carr said.

Council of Presidents chair and St. Ambrose University president Amy Novak explained the reasons behind the vote.

“The task force spent nearly two years reviewing research, meeting with experts to better understand potential policy challenges, and obtaining feedback from multiple membership groups,” said Novak.

“With this policy, the NAIA has made its best effort to allow for the inclusion of transgender athletes in any way which does not impact the competitive fairness of women’s sports,” she added. “Our priority is to protect the integrity of women’s athletics and allow them equal opportunity to succeed.”

National Women’s Law Center special counsel Shiwali Patel expressed outrage against the vote.

“This is unacceptable and blatant discrimination that not only harms trans, nonbinary and intersex individuals, but limits the potential of all athletes,” said Patel in a statement on the website. “It’s important to recognize that these discriminatory policies don’t enhance fairness in competition. Instead, they send a message of exclusion and reinforce dangerous stereotypes that harm all women.”

The sports LGBTQ+ organization Athlete Ally also registered its outrage against the NAIA.

“This policy is a failure of leadership by NAIA and marks a sad day for women’s sports,” read a statement from the group. “We hope other sport governing bodies don’t also succumb to political pressure, and instead fight for a future of sports where everyone belongs.”

Patel went on to demand that the Biden administration clarify Title IX rules in order to classify transgender bans as unlawful.

The NAIA is headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, and governs athletic competitions at 241 small and private colleges.

Here’s more about the transgender debate:

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