On June 7, a nonprofit by the name of Moms for America held a press conference on the Capitol grounds in Washington, D.C. to speak out about biological men competing in women’s sports across the country. H.R. 734, otherwise known as the Protection of Women’s Sports Act of 2023 has passed the House and is waiting for the Senate to schedule a vote. Professional and collegiate athletes gathered to share their stories along with different state representatives, all united under one objective: calling on the Senate to act and pass the bill.
Tennessee State Representative Diana Harshbarger (R) stated, “I know, as a health care professional, you cannot change somebody’s DNA.” She went on to note how we are in the middle of a spiritual battle. “As the Bible says, what is looked at as evil is now being looked at as good, and what is good is being looked at as evil. That is a spiritual message that I want to send to every American. … We cannot legislate morality.”
One by one, several female athletes also shared their experiences of competing with men identifying as women. Each experience was unique, yet all shared the same conclusion: sex is biology, not identity, and females simply cannot compare to males in terms of athleticism.
Macy Petty, a collegiate volleyball player, was the first to speak on behalf of the girls. Men increasingly stealing opportunities in women’s sports is a “direct threat to the integrity of the competition,” she emphasized. Early in her career, Petty had an opportunity to showcase her skills in front of several scouts. “On the other team was a very tall and athletic man,” she stated. “I did not sign up to be in a co-ed league. … The ruling authorities decided this boy’s feelings overrode our opportunity to play in a female only league. … With his biological advantages, he wooed the college scouts. I hate to think what young lady was passed over to make room for him on their [female] college team.”
After Petty shared her experience, other female athletes stepped forward with similar, heartbreaking stories about times that they were robbed of their sports opportunities as well. To conclude the press conference, Idaho State Representative Barbara Ehardt (R) spoke about how she has been an avid voice in this fight for sports equality throughout her lifetime. “I spent years fighting for opportunities for our girls and women [with Title IX]. Now we’re going backwards,” she said.
Ehardt emphasized how the culture is claiming to make sports a place of humanity, inclusion, and community by allowing men to compete against women. “Folks, I’m telling you, that’s not it at all,” she said. “When it comes to athletics, when it comes to keeping your job, it is about winning. If it wasn’t about winning, players wouldn’t get cut and coaches wouldn’t get fired. It’s about winning, make no mistake, and we cannot compete with the male counterparts.” Ehardt concluded by expressing how her passions have heightened since Title IX was first enacted in 1964. This is not an issue that’s relevant only to the present batch of competitors, she contended. This is an issue that has been debated and fought over for decades. “People, it’s a movement. … Step up, be courageous.”
The fight for integrity in women’s sports is raging, because it questions a fundamental truth. As Kassidy Comer, former college basketball player, told The Washington Stand, “You [cannot] ignore God’s plan for who we’re made to be. You know, we were crafted in the womb in His image, and He does not make mistakes. So, when you’re looking at it saying, ‘I know I was born this way, but I feel like I might be this way,’ that is just spiritual warfare, and that is my strong belief as a Christian.”
When asked how her faith helped her be bold in this fight, Comer responded, “I believe we are called to speak truth into this world. We are called to be salt and light. Salt and light can be invasive sometimes, [it] might hurt somebody’s feelings, but we’re called to speak truth … and that is one thing I’ve really tried to do with the platform I’ve been blessed with.”
Debbie Kraulidis, the vice president of Moms for America, stated that this fight is not an easy one, but it is certainly necessary. “We are going to put the pressure on the Senate to pass this bill,” she said. “It is up to us … to protect women’s sports.”
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