By Thomas Shaheen – Vice President for Policy, PA Family Council
Two Pennsylvania high-school girls were among those testifying at a hearing on August 4th before the PA House Education Committee regarding the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act; state legislation spearheaded by five female co-sponsors that would protect opportunities for women and girls by ensuring they are not forced to compete against biological males playing on women’s sports teams.
The first high school student testified against this bill (the hearing held testimony from both sides of this issue). Included in this 15-year-old’s prepared remarks was a demand that the lawmakers stop this bill, claiming it’s a “non-issue” for biological boys who identify as girls to compete and use the same locker room facilities as girls.
I think you would agree that permitting biological boys to compete against and use the same locker rooms as girls is absolutely an issue that must be addressed.
Now, that leads me to telling you about the second high school girl who testified. She bravely told the lawmakers of her experience this past year as the captain of her girls’ track team and about a male student who previously competed on the boys’ team and now began running on her girls’ team.
She shared about how her coaches did nothing to inform the athletes about the situation or act in ways to protect their privacy and their well-being with a biological boy now on their team. “We all felt abandoned this year.” She and her teammates have received death threats if they speak out.
This team captain also shared about her love and concern for all people – including this particular male student. She held no animosity towards the student and actually took time to reach out and befriend him.
Any biological boy, no matter how they identify, should be welcomed to join the boys’ teams. But forcing girls to compete against boys removes equal opportunities and creates unfair playing fields. That’s why we need the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act.
Here’s a portion of what this high schooler shared:
“We have been told that we need to put ourselves in the shoes of people who identify as a gender identity different from their sex. I actually agree with that and I have really tried to do that. In fact, I’m committed to ensuring every girl, even if they identify as a boy or something else, are welcomed and treated well on the girls team…but I ask you to put yourself in our shoes as well. I don’t understand why there seems to be so little care about what this is doing to the emotional well-being of the girls. There are ways for schools to meet the needs of all students without allowing the violation of our rights to privacy and fair competition. Any biological girl, no matter what they believe about gender, is more than welcome on our girls’ teams. And any biological boy, no matter how they identify, is welcome on the boys’ teams. That preserves fairness and opportunities for everyone.”
The fact remains that there are biological differences between males and females. As Dr. Greg Brown, professor of exercise science from the University of Nebraska, explained in his testimony during this hearing, these differences give males an inherent advantage over women in sports; advantages that cannot be erased by how one identifies or by the use of cross-sex hormones.
“Males have undeniable biologically based athletic advantages over females in almost all sports, and research currently indicates that neither transgender identity nor extended use of male-to-female hormones erases those advantages. All that [the Fairness In Women’s Sports Act] seeks to do is to ensure that female sports teams are preserved for biological females so girls and women can compete on a level playing field.”
Please join us in supporting the Fairness In Women’s Sports Act by using our action alert to contact your State Senator and State Representative. You can send an email by clicking here or going to pafamily.org/fairplay.
We have to help these students. As the high-schooler said to these state lawmakers in support of the Fairness In Women’s Sports Act, “By doing nothing you are forcing girls to go through unfair discrimination.”