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Press Release Published: Dec 6, 2023

Hearing Wrap Up: The Biden Administration’s Title IX Rule Change Denies Women Opportunities

“That is sex-based discrimination.”

WASHINGTON—The Subcommittee on Health Care and Financial Services held a hearing yesterday titled “The Importance of Protecting Female Athletics and Title IX” to examine the Biden Administration’s proposed rules that will alter Title IX and harm women and girls around the country.

Key Takeaways:

The Biden Administration is seeking to drastically alter Title IX by redefining sex discrimination to include disparate treatment on the basis of “gender identity.”

  • Title IX has ensured that women and girls have access to the same academic and athletic opportunities that were afforded to men and boys for 51 years.
  • By redefining sex discrimination to include “gender identity” in regulation, the Biden Administration will be eradicating female-only sports, spaces, and scholarships at institutions receiving federal funding.
  • “Under the proposed rule, women’s sports aren’t just for women. They’re for anyone who simply says they are a woman.” Riley Gaines, former University of Kentucky Collegiate Athlete and Independent Women’s Forum Ambassador, said during her opening testimony. “Let me be perfectly clear. A school that knowingly allows a male athlete to take a spot on a woman’s team or allows a male athlete to take the field in a woman’s game is denying a female student athletic opportunity. That is sex-based discrimination, and it violates Title IX, regardless of what the new regulations might say.”

Permitting biological males to compete in women’s sports is inherently unfair to women and girls throughout the country.

  • Biological males competing in women’s sports is fundamentally unfair. Males have physiological advantages over women, including body size, greater muscle mass, increased lung capacity, larger hearts, and greater bone density. Even athletes of similar size, height, and wingspan exhibit performance disparities on the basis of sex.
  • Ms. Sarah Perry, Senior Legal Fellow at the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at the Heritage Foundation said,“Title IX made possible opportunities for women historically excluded from higher education, athletics, graduate school, scholarships, and more.” She continued, “If a self-declaration of womanhood and hormones are sufficient to open women’s sports to men, what afterall was the point of the women’s liberation movement?”
  • Ms. Kim Russell, Independent Women’s Forum Ambassador and Former Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach at Oberlin College said, “The Biden Administration is trying to effectively change the meaning and language of Title IX. If allowed, this will endanger women in sports and private spaces and take away opportunities from women in sports and academia. Never in a million years did I think I would be sitting here at 56 fighting to get back the rights that were given to women and girls 51 years ago.”

Allowing biological males to compete in women’s sports can put female athletes at risk of serious injury.

  • Riley Gaines said,“…there is a place for everyone to play sports in this country. But unsafe, unfair, and discriminatory practices towards women must stop. Inclusion cannot be prioritized over safety and fairness.”

Member Highlights:

Chairman James Comer (R-Ky) discussed how Title IX has impacted women’s access to academic and athletic opportunities.

Chairman Comer: “Has Title IX had a positive impact on your access to athletic and academic opportunities?”

Riley Gaines: “Of course it has. I would not have been able to achieve what I achieved without Title IX, without the women’s sporting category.”

Chairman Comer: “If the Biden Administration successfully redefines Title IX to include gender identity, are you concerned that young women would miss out on athletic and academic opportunities that would be afforded to them?”

Ms. Russell: “Absolutely. Not only would biological males be able to take positions on teams away from females, it includes scholarship money at different levels, it includes awards at different levels, it includes now NIL money – sponsorship money.”

Subcommittee Chairwoman Lisa McClain (R-Mich.) examined how permitting biological males to compete in women’s sports is fundamentally unfair and unsafe. Former Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach at Oberlin College Kim Russell discussed how she was fired for standing up for women.

Chairwoman McClain: “Why is it patently unfair to allow biological males to compete in women’s sports?”

Riley Gaines: “Even if you just look at the examples recently, we don’t see females entering into men’s sports and dominating. This is only happening one way and with that way being males entering into women’s sports and dominating. Of course, I could get into the science of it.”

Chairwoman McClain: “Ms. Russell, can you speak to your experiences with cancel culture and the treatment you received because you stood up for women?”

Kim Russell: “[…] This cancel culture, what’s happened is kids are too afraid to say anything. Parents are too afraid to say anything. Coaches are in massive fear of losing their jobs. Professors are in massive fear of losing their jobs.”

Subcommittee McClain: “All for standing up for women?”

Kim Russell: “Yes.”

Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) asked about the costs the Biden Administration’s new Title IX rule will impose on educational institutions.

Rep. Gosar: “What are the likely costs to educational institutions for complying with Biden’s new Title IX rule, which makes it almost impossible for schools receiving money to limit women’s sports to only women?”

Ms. Perry: “This isn’t just cost to education. This is cost to the federal government and taxpayers, it’s cost to the medical community, it’s cost to reduced lunch programs.

“That’s because Title IX intersects with Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act and the Food and Nutrition Act, which is the USDA’s reduced school lunch program. That means that implicating this particular rule doesn’t just affect sports, it affects everything from nutrition program funding, it affects the cost of litigation, it affects the cost of implementation now requiring open locker rooms, open bathrooms as well.”

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) examined how the Biden Administration’s Title IX rule threatens women and girls’ basic rights to privacy and safety.

Rep. Foxx: “It’s not just a matter of people who pretend to be girls or women who are biological males moving into girls in women’s sports to take a place, but isn’t there an issue of the difference in strength and the issue of safety? Aren’t those primary issues with saying biological men should not be competing against biological women?”

Ms. Russell: “You are correct. Even if a biological male is on testosterone blockers, they can still maintain their muscle mass with their workouts. […] It’s not just that, it’s the body composition.”

READ MORE: McClain: The Biden Administration is Putting Leftist Politics Before Women and Girls in Sports

CLICK HERE to watch the full hearing.