By Congresswoman Claudia Tenney
My parents encouraged everyone in my family to participate in competitive sports. My grandmother, my mother and my aunts were all terrific athletes who enjoyed many sports. They all excelled at golf, winning dozens of local women’s club championships over several decades. At the time, golf was one of the few sports where women had real opportunities to excel.
I competed as an equestrian, curler and tennis player for many years and was the starting center of my high school basketball team. Like the women athletes in my family, I even won several golf championships.
Sports offered me that unique opportunity to hone new skills and the opportunity to excel. I am grateful for the opportunities I had to compete and the lifelong friendships I was able to develop.
I started college five years after Title IX became law, which banned discrimination against women in school sports. This law opened the door for me and countless other women and was expanded decades later. It meant that our athletic abilities were not only respected but rewarded. It allowed women to compete equally, opening so many new and exciting doors.
But today, Title IX is under attack. Radical activists on the left believe biological men should compete in women’s sports. That men and women have distinct biological differences, a basic and indisputable scientific fact, is a reality that the left’s woke gender ideology refuses to acknowledge. Men are typically faster, stronger, and larger than women. While these facts are common sense for most Americans, they are quite triggering for many on the left.
The left’s woke war on women is leading to unfair competition and fewer opportunities for young girls. Last March, Lia Thomas, a biological male, won the NCAA women’s 500-yard freestyle championship, stripping the title from biological females around the country who trained for years to compete at this level. Riley Gaines, a biological female and the rightful winner of the 2022 NCAA women’s 500-yard freestyle championship, was robbed that year of her championship title.
I met Riley Gaines on National Girls and Women in Sports Day as we walked up the steps of the U.S. Capitol to introduce the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act. Last week, I had the honor of introducing Riley to a huge crowd of supporters in Buffalo, who stand with her courageous quest to protect women’s sports.
This week, Speaker Kevin McCarthy brought our bill, the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act, to the floor of the House of Representatives, and our Republican Majority passed it. This legislation is simple: if you wish to compete in sports, you must compete as the gender you were assigned at birth. This bill upholds fairness to ensure women and girls can continue competing on a level playing field.
Republicans promised to protect women’s sports, and we have made good on that commitment. President Joe Biden is wrong to encourage biological men to participate in women’s sports. It is an unfair attack on the hard-fought rights of women and girls to train, compete, and excel in athletics.
I am grateful that courageous young women like Riley Gaines continue to stand their ground against the woke mobs that shout them down and even attack them. We are on the right side of history, and we will continue to fight back against far-left policies that push dangerous ideologies at odds with basic science and our fundamental values.
Claudia Tenney, of Canandaigua, represents the U.S. Congressional 24th District, which includes all of Cayuga, Wayne, Seneca, Yates, Ontario, Livingston, Wyoming and Genesee counties, almost all of Oswego County, the southern half of Jefferson and Orleans counties, and the eastern half of Niagara County.