Former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines testified Tuesday on Capitol Hill on why she opposes biological men who identify as women competing in women’s sports.
The House Oversight Committee on Health Care and Financial Services held a hearing on “the Importance of Protecting Female Athletics and Title IX.”
In her opening remarks subcommittee ranking member Democratic Rep. Summer Lee of Pennsylvania said, “Although the title of this hearing implies a much-needed discussion, we’re likely going to be forced to listen to transphobic bigotry.”
During her testimony later in the hearing, Gaines said, “Unsafe, unfair, and discriminatory practices towards women must stop. Inclusion cannot be prioritized over safety and fairness.”
Then addressing Lee directly, Gaines added, “If my testimony makes me transphobic, then I believe your opening monologue makes you a misogynist.”
“…we’re likely going to be forced to listen to transphobic bigotry.”
“…if my testimony makes me transphobic, then I believe your opening monologue makes you a misogynist.” pic.twitter.com/UwCUHAvPCa
— Heritage Foundation (@Heritage) December 5, 2023
Shortly thereafter, Lee, who just took office in January, called on Subcommittee Chairwoman GOP Rep. Lisa McClain of Michigan to have Gaines’ remarks about her struck from the record, saying the witness was “engaging in personalities.”
The House “personalities” decorum rule has to do with how members of Congress address each other, requiring them to debate the issues at hand and not engage in personal attacks. However, it does not have to do with how witnesses before the committee address lawmakers.
— CSPAN (@cspan) December 5, 2023
Gaines interjected before McClain ruled on the matter asking, “Could I just ask how it’s fair to be called transphobic?”
McClain, Lee and staff members conferred, resulting in Lee saying, “OK, I move to withdraw the point of order.”
.@Riley_Gaines_ testifies before Congress: “A school that knowingly allows a male athlete to take a spot on a women’s team or allows a male athlete to take the field in a women’s game is denying a female student athletic opportunity, and that is sex-based discrimination and it… pic.twitter.com/RiuPyfU8Tc
— Daily Wire (@realDailyWire) December 5, 2023
Gaines made national headlines during the 2022 NCAA Swim Championships when she tied for fifth place in the 200-yard freestyle with Lia Thomas, a man, who identifies as a woman. Officials gave the fifth place trophy to Thomas.
Gaines was told she could stand on the winner’s dais next to Thomas and was given a sixth place trophy to hold to make it appear both were receiving awards.
Here’s a photo of Lia Thomas and Riley Gaines after they tied for 5th in the women’s 200 freestyle.
Riley told @realDailyWire that an official told her to hold the sixth place trophy.
“We just want Lia to hold the fifth place trophy.”
(via Getty by Rich von Biberstein) pic.twitter.com/hMKPlx6UhW
— Mary Margaret Olohan (@MaryMargOlohan) March 23, 2022
In April, the Biden administration’s Department of Education submitted a rule change to Title IX making it a violation to bar biological men who identify as women from participating in women’s sports.
“Under the proposed regulation, schools would not be permitted to adopt or apply a one-size-fits-all policy that categorically bans transgender students from participating on teams consistent with their gender identity,” the public notice said.
“Instead, the Department’s approach would allow schools flexibility to develop team eligibility criteria that serve important educational objectives, such as ensuring fairness in competition or preventing sports-related injury. These criteria would have to account for the sport, level of competition, and grade or education level to which they apply,” the notice continued.
“One-size-fits-all policies that categorically ban transgender students from participating in athletics consistent with their gender identity across all sports, age groups, and levels of competition would not satisfy the proposed regulation.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.