NC House Bill 823 Approved, Banning Transgender Athletes From Competing In Women's School Sports
This is a big win for female athletes in North Carolina!
Boys and men who “identify as female” will no longer have the ability to compete against females in middle school, high school, or college sports after the passing of the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, NC House Bill 574 on Wednesday. With a vote of 73-79, this solidifies students will have to compete based on their “reproductive biology and genetics at birth.”
The bill was originally filed on April 5th, 2023 banning “students of the male sex” to compete against any sport “designated for females, women or girls.” The bill was first applicable to middle and high school teams only, but a new version was written to include both community and four-year colleges on Wednesday.
According to The News & Observer, “Lawmakers on the House Judiciary 1 Committee approved the bill in a party-line vote, after more than an hour of debate and public comment. Republicans said the bill was necessary to protect athletic opportunities for women, while Democrats said the bill was a solution looking for a problem and represented a “proxy for discrimination.”
Former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines, who was recently in the news after being kidnapped and assaulted by protestors at San Francisco State University presented the bill saying, “I recently graduated from the University of Kentucky where I was a student and a member of the Women's swim and dive team. I probably finished my career as a 12-time NCAA All-American, a five-time SEC champion, the SEC record holder, and the tuner butterfly making me one of the fastest Americans of all time, and a two-time Olympic trial qualifier. All that to say being successful at the elite level is far from easy and it's a lifelong journey. It's impossible to put into words the amount of time and dedication and sacrifices that I've made.”
Gaines continued her testimony on how having to compete with Lia Thomas impacted her swimming career. ”I started swimming when I was four. So I've dedicated 18 years of my life to achieving maximum performance in my sport, which is not unique when competing at the collegiate level. On March 17, 2022, my teammates and I as well as female swimmers from universities around the country were forced to compete against biological male Lia Thomas.
“Thomas was allowed to compete in the women's division after competing on the University of Pennsylvania's men's team the three years prior. The first day of competition, we watched on the side of the pool as Thomas swam to a national title in the 500 Freestyle beating out the most impressive and accomplished female swimmers in the country, including many US Olympians and American record holders by body links. It's important to mention that Thomas was ranked 462nd at best amongst the men the year before. That next day, I raced Thomas in the 200 freestyle, which ended up in a tie. We went the exact same time down to the 100th of a second. Having only one trophy the NCAA gave it to Thomas and told me that I had to go home empty-handed because Thomas needed to hold the trophy for pictures. I felt betrayed and belittled and like my efforts and sacrifices I had made had been reduced to a photo op to validate the identity and feelings of a male, but my feelings did not matter. But that is not all. In addition to being forced to give up our awards and our titles and our opportunities, the NCAA forced female swimmers to share a locker room with Thomas, a 6’4”, 22-year-old male equipped with and exposing male genitalia in a room full of vulnerable, undressed women. Let me be clear, we were not forewarned about this arrangement, no one asked for our consent and we did not give our consent.
If nothing else, I truly hope you can see how this is a violation of our right to privacy and how we felt embarrassed, uncomfortable, and even traumatized by this experience. In 1972, Congress enacted Title Nine to end unjust sex discrimination in all aspects of education including collegiate athletics. Make no mistake about it, by allowing Thomas to displace female athletes in the pool and on the podium, the NCAA and these colleges intentionally discriminated on the basis of sex. Although they claim the act in the name of inclusion in their policies, in fact, excluded female athletes, the very athletes whom Title Nine was created to protect. It's impossible to speak for every single girl on that pool deck and I don't claim to speak for every girl but I can wholeheartedly attest to the tears that I witnessed from the ninth and 17 place finishers who missed out on being named an All-American by one place. And again, I can wholeheartedly attest to the extreme discomfort in the locker room from 18 to 22-year-old girls who are exposed to male body parts and having to undress in a room with a male watching. I can attest to the anger and whispers of frustration expressed by these girls who just like myself had worked their entire lives and sacrificed so much to get to that moment. And I can wholeheartedly attest to the fact that around the country female athletes who protested the inclusion of Lia Thomas in the women's division, were threatened, intimidated, and emotionally blackmailed into silence and submission. I'm certain I speak for more than just myself when I stand before you and share my testimony.
“But unfortunately, our experiences are not unique. The number of female athletes who have been denied opportunities– again traumatized or hurt by these policies that claim to promote inclusion is growing at an alarming rate. It's simply unacceptable and the integrity of women's sports is lost. And that is why I implore you to please pass legislation that preserves women's athletic opportunities at all levels. I appreciate the opportunity to share my experience and I hope you consider the facts, the science, and the growing stories. Thank you.”
The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh was asked a question by an audience member at the University of Iowa last night as to what more should be done to ensure that female athletes don’t have to compete against males. Walsh responded by saying more female athletes and their fathers need to step up and demand that no males are to compete alongside them.
“So a big part of the story here is that ultimately if we're going to get rid of the madness of men competing against women in women's sports, it has to involve lots of women in these sports saying I'm not going to compete. If you put a man on the court or on the field with me or in the pool with me because now this is a farce, it's not real. And this whole thing only exists now to support this person's ego. And so I'm not going to do that. That's what women have to say.”
“I don't think as men– I don't think we Liave it up to women to be the only ones to fight any battle. I'm you know, a traditionalist. I think men should be on the frontlines of every battle and so I think men need to be involved too. And that also involves the fathers. I always wonder, Well, where are the dads of these girls? Why aren’t they standing up and saying something? So either way, it's the people who are connected to the issue and actually involved in the sport whether parents.”
AP reported on Thursday, “House Republicans fast-tracked the bill through two committees earlier Wednesday after hearing debate from trans and cisgender student-athletes. It now heads to the Senate, where a competing proposal could reach the floor as soon as Thursday. The Senate bill would only create restrictions for middle and high school athletes.”
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