The next presidential election is two years away, he’s being investigated by several prosecutors, and he can’t even post on Twitter anymore, but Donald Trump is already making promises to his anti-LGBTQ base for his next campaign.
Trump said at a rally in Texas this weekend that, if elected, he would ban transgender girls and women from participating in sports. He misgendered them while making his promise.
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“We will ban men from participating in women’s sports,” he said during the rally. “So ridiculous.”
Trump did not explain exactly how he would stop anyone from competing in sports or even if he was referring to professional sports, amateur sports, or school sports. The president doesn’t have direct control over any of it – professional sports are generally run by private, and often international, governing bodies, while school sports are run by states and school districts with some federal influence – but he expressed shock that schools are treating trans women as women.
“Have you heard about the man who is on the swim team that I know well?” Trump said, referring to University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas, who is a woman. Trump went to the University of Pennsylvania as well.
Thomas currently meets NCAA standards for transgender women competing in college sports.
“But the best is the weightlifting records – they’re going,” he said. “One guy walks in with one hand [and] he broke the record that [was] held up for 20 years.”
Trump did not say which one-handed transgender weight lifter he was referring to.
One thing that Trump could do as president would be to rescind President Joe Biden’s executive order that stated that discrimination against LGBTQ people is illegal under Title IX, the federal law that bans discrimination on the basis of sex in schools that receive federal money. Biden used the legal reasoning already accepted by the Supreme Court that discrimination against LGBTQ people inherently involves discrimination based on sex.
Since school sports are a part of education, denying transgender girls and women the right to participate in school sports is a form of illegal discrimination, and the Department of Justice has been getting involved in lawsuits to end this form of discrimination.
In 2017, Trump’s Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos repealed anti-discrimination guidelines put in place by the Obama administration in an attempt to make it easier to discriminate against LGBTQ students.