Allard bill designating middle and high school sports by sex gets support from champion Riley Gaines

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House Bill 183, which seeks to protect girl athletes from having their trophies and scholarships robbed by transgenders, was the subject of a hearing in House Education Committee on Friday.

Appearing via teleconference to speak on behalf of the bill was Riley Gaines, once a champion swimmer at University of Kentucky who competed against transgender Lia Thomas of the University of Pennsylvania, and now a champion for girls and women in sports.

Lia (formerly Will) Thomas, who towers over all the female swimmers, won the women’s 500-freestyle trophy at the NCAA Swimming Championships in 2022.

HB 183‘s lead sponsor and champion is Eagle River Republican Rep. Jamie Allard, who herself was an athletic competitor in high school and who has daughters who competed in downhill skiing. It is a bill that is nearly identical to one filed in the Alaska Senate by Sen. Shelley Hughes in 2021.

“It is in our very recent history that women — and the men who champion them — have had to fight for women’s rights and equality in our society,” she said. “Can you believe it has barely been 100 years since women were granted the right to vote? Since then, we have come a long way, with legislation supporting and protecting women’s rights and protecting us from discrimination. Our culture has embraced and advanced the notion that women deserve the same opportunities as men. And we have made leaps and bounds in opportunities available to women and girls to participate in sports.”

Girls who participate in sports reap huge benefits for a lifetime. They gain confidence, good habits, strong bodies, and bones, and have a lower chance of osteoporosis, breast cancer, and depression, Allard said: “They have a more positive body image and higher levels of self- esteem. They grow into strong women who are leaders and role models in our communities. They carry the lessons learned far beyond the playing field. And thanks to Title IX, their right to equal opportunities in sports and education is federally protected.”

Title IX states, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

Allard said, “We can thank our very own Sen. Ted Stevens for this legislation which has protected and promoted women in sports since its passage in 1972. The impact of this legislation is profound. Before 1972, one in 27 girls participated in sports. That number is now two in five! Girls’ participation in high school sports has increased by roughly 1,000%.”

She explained how it has opened the door to more sports scholarship opportunities for women and for women to turn their sport into a career. “We could even say that the effects of more women in sports has rippled out across all sectors, breaking glass ceilings and elevating women as equals in our nation and even around the world.”

What happens when a biological male enters the ring of women’s sports?

“Being biologically bigger, stronger, faster, their physical advantage over women is anything but equal. It takes our nearly level playing field, which we fought so hard to achieve, and reduces it to women finishing second again. Women have worked hard to get where we are today. To set us back 100 years is unacceptable,” Allard said.

“When there were threatened changes to Title IX, Sen. Ted Stevens said: ‘Having lived this long with Title IX, I’m going to urge Congress not to support any changes that could have an adverse effect on the progress that has already been made under Title IX. We want more progress.’”

Stevens, Allard noted, “was the guardian angel of women in athletics. He would not stand by and allow culture wars to rob our girls and women of the progress we have fought so hard to gain. HB 183 acknowledges the biological differences and disparities between men and women and requires students to play according to their biological sex. Our girls deserve a fair playing field. They deserve the chance to win first place, scholarships, and gold medals.”

In addition to Riley Gaines testifying by teleconference, retired Anchorage teacher and coach Larry Whitmore, Idaho State Rep. Barbara D. Ehardt, and Matthew Sharp of Alliance Defending Freedom all testified in favor of the bill.

Whitmore has spent years involved in middle- and high-school sports. He works as an official for cross-country running and track and field. Fairness “is not possible when a biological male is allowed to compete with a biological female, he said.

“Biological males have greater bone density, bigger heart, lungs, and more muscle strength than biological females,” Whitmore said. When girls enter middle school around the age of 12, they begin to change physically, he continued, “as their bodies prepare for childbearing. As a teacher, coach, and father, I had to be aware of these changes that happen each month for biological females. Many had difficulties, not only physically, but emotionally.”

Whitmore said, “not all but in several girls, this would effect their performance and on the sports field.”

A number of girls that he coached in track and fields had their best performance during their freshman and sophomore years, and then for some girls, they developed hip issues during their junior year, “which was not good news for their performance level.”

Rep. Ehardt testified that in Idaho, transgender June Eastwood did what Lia Thomas did a University of Pennsylvania, winning track and field events in the women’s collegiate division.

In 2020, Idaho legislators passed House Bill 500, the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act. Idaho became the first state in the country to ban biological males from competing with or against women in Idaho’s public schools and universities.

Riley Gaines tied Lia Thomas in the 200-meter, but when it came time to hold the trophy, the NCAA said that he would hold the trophy, not her.

Gaines is among 16 female athletes who are now suing the National Collegiate Athletics Association for allowing Thomas, who still had his penis at the time she was in school with him, to disrobe in the women’s locker room in front of the college women.

Legislative Legal attorney Margaret Bergerud said she thinks the bill is subject to challenge on equal-protection grounds. In her testimony, she referred to males as “cisgender males” and females as “cisgender females.” The terminology is the transgender way of trying to normalize the unscientific concept that people are “assigned” a sex at birth, and they may adopt a different sex later if they feel like it.

Allard said, “Like U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, I will be a champion for our girls and women. I have endured discrimination and have conquered obstacles, like my mom and grandmother and great-grandmother before me, so that my daughters don’t have to. I don’t do this for me, I do it for them. We fight for all our daughters. Expecting women to be physically equal to men is not equality. Equality is giving women the same opportunities as men. But if forced to physically compete against biological males, women will be disadvantaged once again. If men can compete as ‘better’ versions of women, all of our progress for equality is dead.”

7 COMMENTS

  1. Riley Gaines shared a very telling story on the Joe Rogan show. Apparently, the NCAA process when two people tie is to award both.
    But, not this time, because they were instructed by the NCAA that Will Thomas was to be photographed holding the trophy. I have a feeling that even if Riley Gaines had won, the would have found a way to get Thomas at the top slot of the podium for the photo op.
    .
    The only way this crap will end is when the women stop playing.
    If you have a scholarship and need to compete to maintain it, compete, but do so ridiculously badly. Instead of diving into the pool, do a cannonball. Then doggie paddle for a bit. Men competing against women has already turned sports into a clown show. Why not finish the job?

  2. It’s 2024, and retired coach Larry Whitmore blames girls’ menstruation as the reason why they perform poorly compared with biological males?? That’s some serious sexist nonsense, coach!

  3. This bill is great! Do not change the thought or word meaning of any of it. It is clear and if you are in doubt, listen to the testimony and you will also know this is a bill that needs to be in our law and change the circumstances for better in women’s sports so our schools can move forward for the benefit of the female athletes. Keep this and turn it into law!!

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