McCarthy rolls out bill 'ensuring men will play on men's teams and women will play on women's teams'

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Republican Speaker Kevin McCarthy welcomes swimmer who finished second to Lia Thomas to introduce bill 'ensuring men will play on men's teams and women will play on women's teams'

  • House Speaker Kevin McCarthy hosted an event on Wednesday to mark National Girls & Women In Sports Day along with conservative female lawmakers
  • He read a statement on behalf of Florida GOP Rep. Greg Steube re-introducing Steube's bill titled The Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act
  • It would force schools that get federal dollars to ban transgender students from participating on sports teams that align with their gender identity

By Elizabeth Elkind, U.S. Political Reporter For Dailymail.Com

Published: 22:00 GMT, 1 February 2023 | Updated: 22:04 GMT, 1 February 2023

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy unveiled legislation on Wednesday aimed at keeping student athletes who are born biological males out of women's sports.

The Republican leader held an event to mark National Girls & Women In Sports Day, where he hosted a panel discussion with female athletes who each shared stories of being outcompeted by a transgender woman in their respective sports.

Among the four panelists was Kentucky star swimmer Riley Gaines. The 22-year-old has become an activist against transgender women participating on female sports teams after being forced to go head-to-head with University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas.

Gaines was a panel moderator during the event as well, later trading for McCarthy's microphone to hear from Republican Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Lisa McLain of Michigan and Virginia Foxx of North Carolina.

The Speaker opened his event remarking on the absence of Rep. Greg Steube of Florida, who introduced The Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act in the previous Democrat-controlled House last year. 

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of California held an event with women who competed on school sports teams against transgender women who were born biologically male

Steube has been recovering at his Florida home for nearly two weeks after suffering a fall off a 25-foot ladder while doing maintenance on his property.

McCarthy read Steube's statement planned for the event, 'House Republicans pledged to protect women's sports. Today we're delivering on that promise.'

'As I've said many times, it's a sad day in America when we have to introduce a bill to say that men will play on men's teams and women will play on women's teams,' McCarthy read.

'But we've seen time and time again how the left only favors fairness that aligns with their woke agenda.'

He said Americans were 'rightly outraged' when Thomas, a championship-level transgender swimmer, beat biologically female Sarasota swimmer Emma Weyant for the NCAA title in 2022.

 'So today, I'm pleased to have reintroduced legislation that gives women and girls a fair playing field in competition sports,' McCarthy continued reading the statement.

'It ensures that the school athletics comply with the Title IX recognition of a person's reproductive biological and genetics at birth.'

In addition to Gaines, panelists included volleyball player Macey Petty, former track star Margo Knorr and retired tennis player Chloe Satterfield.

A featured speaker was Kentucky star swimmer Riley Gaines, who previously competed against transgender University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas

Thomas' participation on the UPenn girls' swim team has brought the issue of transgender students' involvement with school sports teams of their chosen gender to the forefront of the current culture wars

During Gaines' following panel with the three conservative lawmakers, Michigan Rep. McLain tore into rules that allow students to use school locker rooms that align with their chosen gender.

'Where is the equality?' McLain fumed.

'As a mom, I have no idea what I would have done if my daughter came home and said "Mom, I was made to undress in a locker room in front of a man with a penis."'

She continued, 'You know what I call that? I call that indecent exposure. So let's just start calling it out on what it is.'

Conservative efforts to crack down on transgender participation in school sports have gained steam in recent years, particularly since Lia Thomas' ascent.

It's become a new culture war front and was even featured as a campaign issue in several races in the 2022 election. 

The left and LGBTQ activists have pushed back, claiming that policies forcing students to participate in school activities designated by biological sex - rather than gender identity - is repressive to transgender youth.

As of now, 18 states have laws banning students from participating in school sports that align with their gender identity, according to the LGBT MAP project.

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