Biden Signs Executive Order Forcing Schools to Allow Transgenders in Girls' Sports
Democrat slammed as 'divisive' over move, accused of 'trying to erase women'
Joe Biden has been slammed as "divisive" and accused of "trying to erase women" after he signed a controversial executive order that forces schools to allow transgender athletes to compete in female sports events.
Biden has used his first days in office to sign the anti-discrimination executive order that will allow biological males to compete as women if they "identify" as female.
The former vice president signed the order, titled Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation, as one of his first acts after being sworn into office this week.
The order will also force schools to allow students to use the bathrooms and locker rooms of their opposite biological sex.
It states that "Children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports."
"It is the policy of my administration to prevent and combat discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation," Biden's order adds.
Biden claims that such anti-discrimination policies are "enshrined in the nation's anti-discrimination laws," and align with a Supreme Court ruling from 2020 that prohibits "discrimination on the basis of someone's gender identity."
There is now speculation that public schools will have funding pulled if they do not allow transgender female athletes to compete in girls' sports.
Biden's order is already dividing activists on the internet.
While it has been cheered by proponents of transgender rights, others say the order could unintentionally discriminate against "cis" (someone who "identifies" with their biological sex) females.
Journalist Abigail Shrier wrote on Twitter: "On day 1, Biden unilaterally eviscerates women's sports.
"Any educational institution that receives federal funding must admit biologically-male athletes to women's teams, women's scholarships, etc.
"A new glass ceiling was just placed over girls."
Erielle Davidson of The Jewish Institute for National Security of America, wrote: "Sad day for women's sports. Women must compete against biological males at the risk of injury and loss of title, thanks to a new Biden executive order.
"Don't ever tell me this is 'pro-woman.' It's not.
"It's destructive and malicious."
Soon after, the hashtag #BidenErasedWomen began trending on Twitter.
However, LGBT activists hit back, saying the order was simply Biden's attempt at moving towards a more inclusive society - just as he pledged to do in his inaugural address.
"I see #BidenErasedWomen trending so seems like a good time to remind everyone that trans people have been around in every recorded culture," transgender writer Paris Lees posted.
"Biden has simply said that he's not going to allow people like me to be discriminated against for using female toilets, as we've always done."
Others claimed that criticism of Biden's order was "transphobic," and slammed the objectors as "trans-exclusionary radical feminists" (otherwise known as "TERFs").
The decision to allow transgender athletes to compete in sports alongside their cisgender peers has caused controversy in recent years.
Last year, 17 states introduced bills to restrict athletes' participation in sports of their gender assigned at birth - however, only Idaho has passed a bill into law.
Last March, the law signed in Idaho became the nation's first to prohibit transgender students who identify as female from playing on female teams sponsored by public schools, colleges, and universities.
The law was supported by President Donald Trump's administration.
"Allowing males to enter our sports isn't fair," one cross-country runner at Idaho State told the Associated Press.
"It changes everything because it eliminates the connection between an athlete's effort and her success.
"Idaho's law helps make sure that, when women like me work hard, that hard work pays off, and we have a shot at winning."
According to Transathlete, there are 16 states that "have friendly policies that help to facilitate the full inclusion of trans/non-binary/GNC (gender non-conforming) students in high school athletics."
They include California, Oregon, Washington state, Minnesota, New York, and Connecticut.
Last year, the Trump administration attempted to intervene in Connecticut, threatening to pull funding from three school districts if they did not cut ties with the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference.
The Conference's policy caused controversy for allowing transgender athletes to compete in their girls' track meets.
The Trump administration claimed the policy violated Title IX - a 1972 federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in programs that receive funding from the federal government.
However, transgender Connecticut track star Andraya Yearwood has disagreed.
"Running has been so important for my identity, my growth as a person, and my ability to survive in a world that discriminates against me," Yearwood stated last year.
Previously considered a "mediocre" runner while competing in male events, Yearwood has been dominating female sports after switching to become transgender.
"I am thankful that I live in Connecticut where I can be treated as a girl in all aspects of life and not face discrimination at school."