Rep Tulsi Gabbard took to Twiter on Friday to fire back at critics who have slammed her decision to back the controversial bill, which has been criticised for excluding transgender women from female sports.
Earlier in the day, Gabbard introduced the "Protect Women's Sports Act", which, according to lawmakers, backs Title IX of the Education Amendment Acts of 1972 to protect citizens from discrimination based on sex.
Gabbard explained that her decision was "based on science", citing the generally accepted sex distinction between athletes.
My ‘Protect Women’s Sports Act’ is based on science. It safeguards equality & ensures a level playing field for girls & women competing in sports. It upholds Title IX’s original intent which was based on the general biological distinction between men & women athletes based on sex— Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) December 11, 2020
The controversial legislation has triggered concerns about potentially excluding transgender women from female sports, as it underpins the notion of biological sex, assigned by birth, while for transgender people it is more of a physiological state.
Twitter users and politicians have slammed Gabbard over her hypocrisy, given that during her election campaign, she expressed a "strong and ongoing commitment" to fight for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. However, before announcing her presidential bid, Gabbard actually held the opposite view. Back in 2013, when she was elected to the House, Gabbard opposed same-sex marriages and civil unions in her state of Hawaii and was against studies on students' sexuality.
Gabbard's term in the House runs out in January 2021, and she is not running for re-election.