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Senators introduce bill protecting women’s sports, clarifying Title IX

Friday, Feb 5, 2021

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel Christiana Holcomb regarding the introduction of a bill Thursday by U.S. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, that protects women’s sports by clarifying that sex shall be recognized based solely on a person’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth in Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972:

“Women and girls deserve the opportunity to compete and enjoy the possibility of athletic victory. But allowing males who identify as female to compete in girls’ sports destroys fair competition and erases women’s athletic prospects. We commend Sen. Lee and his colleagues for introducing the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act, commonsense legislation that clarifies this important but simple truth. For years, Title IX has protected equal athletic opportunities, but when policymakers pretend biological differences are irrelevant or non-existent, they distort the law and reality, and women and girls bear the brunt of the consequences. In Connecticut, for example, two males dominated girls’ track after they began competing as females, capturing 15 women’s championships and shattering long-standing female track records. Comparably gifted and trained males will always have physical advantages over females—that’s the entire premise behind women’s sports. We’re grateful Sen. Lee and his fellow senators are simply affirming that biology, not identity, is what matters in athletics.”

The following quote may be attributed to Connecticut high school track athlete Alanna Smith, who, together with other female athletes and their mothers, has filed suit through ADF attorneys to challenge Connecticut’s policy of allowing males to compete in girls’ sports:

“Sports are supposed to be fair—an opportunity for our hard work and constant sacrifice to pay off. But it’s absolutely deflating to realize—even before I get to the starting line—that no matter how hard I push myself, I won’t be competing on a level playing field. As a freshman, I was pushed from runner-up to third place by a male athlete at the State Championship and New England Regional meets. My fellow female athletes and I have repeatedly missed out on track medals and state titles. We all know that letting boys push us out of our own sport isn’t fair, and that is why I’m glad that members of Congress in Washington, D.C., are working to restore fairness to the sport I love.”

The following quote may be attributed to Idaho collegiate track athlete Mary Kate Marshall, who, together with another female athlete, has joined a lawsuit through ADF attorneys to defend Idaho’s Fairness in Women’s Sports Act:

“I love running because it makes me a better version of myself; but I push hard and sacrifice a lot of time and energy because I also like to win. When another woman beats me in a race, I assume that she must train harder than I do, and it motivates me to lean in, work harder, improve my form, and shave off the extra seconds. But when I lose to a man, it’s completely demoralizing—there’s no hope of making up the competitive edge. We women clearly benefit from separate sports categories based on biological sex in order to fairly compete; that’s why I’m grateful that Sen. Lee and other senators are standing up to protect the integrity of women’s sports.”

On Jan. 21, Rep. Greg Steube, R-Fla., introduced the companion bill in the House.

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.

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ABOUT Christiana Holcomb

Christiana Holcomb serves as legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, where she is a key member of the Center for Christian Ministries. Since joining ADF in 2012, Holcomb has worked to protect the constitutionally protected freedom of churches, Christian schools, and Christian ministries to exercise their faith without government interference. She has also strongly advocated for the right of pastors and churches to be free from IRS censorship via the unconstitutional Johnson Amendment and has defended the bodily privacy rights of students. Holcomb earned her J.D. in 2010 from Oak Brook College of Law and Government Policy, where she graduated first in her class and served as a teaching assistant in criminal law. Also in 2010, Holcomb completed the ADF leadership development program to become a Blackstone Fellow. She is admitted to the state bar of California, the U.S. Supreme Court, and numerous federal district and appellate courts.