Category

Women’s Sports

A Nightmare Scenario for Women’s Olympic Dreams

By | Erasing Women, News and Events, Sexual Exploitation, Women's Sports | No Comments

By Morgan Schlesselman, CWA Government Relations Intern

For the first time, a transgender athlete will compete in the Olympics. Laurel Hubbard, a biological male from New Zealand, will compete in women’s weightlifting at the age of 43 after undergoing a gender transition at the age of 35. Hubbard meets the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Weightlifting Federation’s requirements, which allow any male-bodied transgender athlete to compete as a woman so long as the athlete’s testosterone level is below 10 nanomoles per liter. However, elite female athletes have a testosterone range of 0.12 to 1.79 nanomoles per liter, which means that Hubbard could have five times or more the amount of testosterone compared to the rest of the competition.

The news of Hubbard’s qualification for the Olympic team has stirred up responses from members of the weightlifting community. Belgian super-heavyweight weightlifter Anna Vanbellinghen, who offered her support for the transgender community, made it clear that “this particular situation is unfair to the sport and to the athletes. So why is it still a question whether two decades, from puberty to the age of 35, with the hormonal system of a man also would give an advantage [in competing against women]?”

Similarly, former New Zealand weightlifter Tracey Lambrechs said, “When I was told to drop the category because Laurel was obviously going to be their number one super, it was heartbreaking, like super soul-destroying. And it’s unfortunate that some female, somewhere is like, ‘Well, I’m going to miss out on going to the Olympics, on achieving my dream, representing my country because a transgendered athlete is able to compete.’”

In addition to weightlifters voicing their concerns over Hubbard’s spot on the Olympic team, organizations that support women’s rights have made statements, too. Save Women’s Sport Australasia said, “It is flawed policy from the IOC that has allowed the selection of a 43-year-old biological male who identifies as a woman to compete in the female category. Males do have a performance advantage that is based on their biological sex. They outperform us on every single metric – speed, stamina, strength. Picking testosterone is a red herring … We are forgetting about the anatomy, the faster twitch muscle, the bigger organs.”

Vice President of Government Relations for Concerned Women for America, Doreen Denny, warned of the ramifications of this decision, “For the purpose and future of women’s sports, this is devastating news. It creates a mockery of women’s sports.” More of Denny’s comments can be found here.

As Tracey Lambrechs mentioned earlier, this policy impacts the dreams of girls all over the world. Women and girls deserve the opportunity to have a fair playing field and equal competition; competing against a 43-year-old biological male in women’s sports is not that.

As for the United States, Chelsea Wolfe became the first trans athlete to be on a U.S. Olympic roster by making it as an alternate on the BMX freestyle team. However, a World Athletics policy did prevent a biological male from taking an opportunity away from a biological female in the women’s 400-meter hurdles at the U.S. Olympic trials. Cece Telfer, who in May 2019 became the first biological male to win a national NCAA track and field title in the women’s 400-meter hurdles, after competing  on the men’s team just sixteen months prior, was ruled ineligible for the U.S. Olympic trials. U.S.A. Track and Field determined that Telfer’s testosterone levels did not meet the requirement to compete. While this decision avoided the controversy, Telfer should not have been in the running in the first place.

As a result of Hubbard’s participation, women’s super-heavyweight weightlifting may be among the most watched events at the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer. Unfortunately, not for the right reasons. As Save Women’s Sport Australasia said previously, biological males have specific anatomy that give them an advantage in speed, stamina, and strength that cannot be evaluated or mitigated by testosterone levels alone. In order to protect the integrity and future of women’s sports, the main criterion should be quite simple: on the basis of biological sex.

No Celebration: Nearly 50 Years of Title IX Equality for Women at Risk

By | Legislative Updates, News and Events, Sexual Exploitation, Women's Sports | No Comments

By Morgan Schlesselman, CWA Government Relations Intern

June 23, 2021, marks the 49th anniversary of the passage of Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, which states that “no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

Title IX was spearheaded by former Congresswoman Patsy Mink (D-Hawaii) and Sen. Birch Bayh (D-Indiana), who believed that women were entitled to equal opportunities in education and athletics. As Birch Bayh put it, “It’s unfortunate. Title IX is rather simple: don’t discriminate on the basis of sex.”

Lin Dunn, a women’s professional and college basketball coach for more than 40 years, said, “I honestly believe that the package of Title IX, that piece of legislation, is one of the most powerful pieces to empower and impact women ever.” Dunn is correct; before Title IX was enacted, women received fewer than 10 percent of all medical and law degrees, and only one in 27 high school girls played sports. Now, one in two high school girls play sports, and women possess more than half of the bachelor’s and graduate degrees in this country. According to the Women’s Sport’s Foundation, female participation in sports leads to better grades, higher graduation rates, fewer unplanned pregnancies, higher levels of confidence and self-esteem, lower levels of depression, and more positive body image than females who do not play sports.

However, the Biden Administration is actively working to overturn the equal rights women and girls gained under Title IX.  Today, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights sent a Letter to Educators on the 49thAnniversary of Title IX  explaining that “sex-based discrimination” includes gender identity and sexual orientation. This change in definition to include gender identity puts all the progress of the last 49 years at risk. Allowing biological males to compete in sports for women and girls means less space for female athletes on teams, the loss of scholarships, and the loss of awards and other opportunities.

It has been well established that the male body is naturally bigger, stronger, and faster than the female body. The physical advantage men have is what led to the creation of separate categories for women’s sports to provide a fair playing field and equal opportunities for female athletes. It has not taken long to see the impact of allowing biological males into female sports. In just three seasons, the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference’s policy that allows any male self-identifying as a girl to compete in girls’ sports led to two transgender runners taking 15 women’s state championship titles and more than 85 opportunities for higher level competitions from female track athletes.

Biological males are not just taking opportunities and championships from females at the high school level, but college as well. In May 2019, a transathlete from Franklin Pierce University became the first biological male to win an NCAA track and field title in the women’s  400-meter hurdles. Just sixteen months prior, the same athlete had competed on Franklin Pierce’s men’s team. With the re-definition of sex under Title IX and a decade-old NCAA policy that embraces the inclusion of transgender athletes in women’s sports, female athletes will face a new barrier to equal opportunity in their sport.

Seeing the potential impact of these policies on female athletes, many states are working to pass legislation requiring participation in sports based on biological sex. This year, governors in seven states signed bills into law. However, these states now face the threat of being stripped of the opportunity to host NCAA championships. The NCAA has pledged “only locations where hosts can commit to providing an environment that is safe, healthy and free of discrimination should be selected. We will continue to closely monitor these situations to determine whether NCAA championships can be conducted in ways that are welcoming and respectful of all participants.” In the eyes of the NCAA, granting females fairness and equal opportunity to compete only against biological females is “discrimination.”

While many state legislatures and governors have taken initiative to protect fairness in women’s sports, the Biden Administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ) is making their priorities to do the opposite very clear. In a statement of interest in B.P.J. v. West Virginia State Board of Education, the DOJ argues that any law that bans transgender girls from competing in female sports is unconstitutional because it violates Title IX and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

Title IX was once a huge victory for women’s rights, equality, and female empowerment. Today, with the push to redefine what it means to be a woman, female athletes are facing a new fight for equality. Is this what Congresswoman Mink and Senator Bayh had in mind?

Olympics 2021: An Unfair Playing Field

By | Erasing Women, Legislative Updates, News and Events, Sexual Exploitation, Women's Sports | No Comments

For the first time ever, a transgender athlete has qualified for an Olympic team. Laurel Hubbard of New Zealand was selected for their national team on Monday and will compete in the “super-heavyweight” category in the weightlifting competition.

Vice President of Government Relations for Concerned Women for America, Doreen Denny, had this to say: “This is a devastating decision. It creates a mockery of women’s sports.” Denny went on to explain how changing the rules based on gender identity is a huge disadvantage to women.

Although Hubbard falls within the limit for testosterone levels to compete on the women’s team, she still has five times the amount of testosterone found within the average woman.

Watch below for the full story.

 

Press Release:  Education Department Throws the Civil Rights of Women Under the Bus

By | Erasing Women, Legislative Updates, News and Events, Press Releases, Women's Sports | No Comments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 17, 2021

Contact:
Jacklyn Washington
202-748-3501, [email protected]

 Education Department Redefines Sex to Throw the Civil Rights of Women Under the Bus

A sham and a shame. Our daughters deserve better.

 Washington, D.C. – Just one week before the June 23 anniversary of Title IX, the Biden Administration has unconstitutionally reinterpreted the meaning of sex and effectively thrown the rights of women and girls under the bus. The landmark federal civil rights law enacted 49 years ago to prohibit sex-based discrimination and protect women has just been used to erase female status and turn Title IX on its head.

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights issued a Notice of Interpretation explaining that “sex-based discrimination” includes gender identity and sexual orientation. The expansion of this definition means the government wants to force us to live under the fantasy that biology no longer matters and that the Biden Administration will no longer protect the equal rights of women and girls in education and athletics as intended.

From day one, the Biden Administration has been declaring war on what it means to be a woman. From replacing the word “mothers” with “birthing people” in its legislative proposals to leaving female athletes in a field of lost dreams, the Democrats have turned back the clock on decades of progress for women’s rights.

This decision is outrageous and insulting to every woman in America. It is detrimental to the safety, privacy, and opportunities of female students and athletes. Even Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an icon of the feminist movement, understood that sex-based classifications could be permissible because certain “differences between men and women” are “enduring.” For years, we’ve watched young, courageous, female athletes work to excel in women’s sports and demonstrate a simple point: sex-separated sports are at the heart of fair competition because men have innate physiological advantages over women based on immutable biological differences.

Unfortunately, in this radical woke era that elevates self-declared identity over reality, women and girls have been sidelined by leftist ideologues who demand any man can claim female status and have full access to our sex-separated spaces and sports.

Concerned Women for America (CWA), the largest public policy organization for women in the nation, has been on the front lines of the battle to defend Title IX for female students and athletes. Last week, Doreen Denny, CWA’s Vice President of Government Affairs, provided live testimony for the U.S. Department of Education’s virtual public hearing.

With this radical reinterpretation of Title IX coming on the heels of a full week of testimony and thousands of public comments, the Department of Education’s decision was obviously made before the results were in. President Joe Biden and Secretary Miguel Cardona clearly don’t care about what the American people, including the majority of women, have to say or about safety and fairness for women and girls.

A sham and a shame. Our daughters deserve better.

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Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC) is the legislation and advocacy arm of Concerned Women for America. Concerned Women for America is the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization with a rich 40-year history of helping our members across the country bring Biblical principles into all levels of public policy.

CWA Provides Live Testimony on Title IX

By | Education, News and Events, Sexual Exploitation, Women's Sports | No Comments

This week the U.S. Department of Education held a virtual public hearing on Title IX and the Department’s role in addressing sex discrimination. Doreen Denny, CWA’s Vice President of Government Relations, provided live testimony on the issue of why subjective gender identity categories should not be added to sex discrimination under Title IX:

“Nothing in congressional statute or statutory interpretation of Title IX by the Supreme Court has changed the meaning of sex discrimination. The Department of Education has no legitimate authority to rewrite this federal civil rights law to redefine the immutable characteristic of sex to mean “gender identity” and thus force women to comply with allowing males who declare transgender status to have access to sex-separated schools, facilities, or sports programs for women.”

You can read Doreen’s full testimony here.

Watch Doreen’s live testimony below.

Florida Governor Protects Female Athletes

By | News and Events, Sexual Exploitation, Women's Sports, YWA | No Comments

(L-R: Annabelle Rutledge, Gov. Ron DeSantis, Terri Johannessen)

Concerned Women for America (CWA) of Florida State Director Terri Johannessen and Young Women for America (YWA) National Director Annabelle Rutledge joined a host of female athletes and other supporters of girls’ athletics at a bill signing ceremony with Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday. June 1. It was an important and energetic win for female athletes in Florida, and we applaud the boldness of Gov. DeSantis in signing the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act. Refusing to bow to leftist bullies and the NCAA is a sign of true leadership, and we are thankful to every governor who is standing for truth on this issue.

It was a special Day for CWA and YWA, and we are grateful to have had a presence in the room for such a historic moment for women and for truth! Gov. DeSantis had his sweet little girl handing him pens as he signed, a reminder that protecting women isn’t only about our athletes competing today, but it is paving the way for future generations.

NCAA Caves to Public Pressure on Women’s Sports

By | CEO, News and Events, Sexual Exploitation, Women's Sports | No Comments

Just one month ago, the NCAA threw female athletes under the bus and sided with transgender athletes, claiming it would prohibit states with restrictions on trans athletes in place from hosting their future events. Amid mounting pressure from conservative groups, including CWA, the NCAA has caved and will allow tournaments to be held in states with laws protecting women in sports. Read our full statement below:

“Perhaps the NCAA is finally getting the message that discrimination against female athletes is NOT fairness. Maybe the NCAA has finally read the scientific research that proves male athletes cannot become female athletes. It could be the NCAA is finally recognizing that their policy allowing transgender males to compete in women’s sports is an affront to women’s equality and rights.

“States are passing laws because Joe Biden is repealing Title IX and erasing women’s sports. It’s about time that the NCAA back off its woke agenda and stand up for female athletes. There is much more the NCAA needs to do to regain its sorry track record in women’s sports. Let’s see if they are really serious about getting out of the starting blocks.”

Penny Nance, CEO and President
Concerned Women for America

Education Nominee Denies the Injustice Faced by Female Athletes

By | Legislative Updates, News and Events, Sexual Exploitation, Women's Sports | No Comments

By Doreen Denny, Vice President of Government Relations

As Education Nominee Denies the Injustice Faced by Female Athletes, “Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act” Gains Support on Capitol Hill

This week the U.S. Senate Committee on Health Education Labor and Pensions heard testimony from President Biden’s nominee for Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona. Cardona has served as the Connecticut Commissioner of Education, the state where female high school athletes are being forced to compete against biological boys identifying as girls.

During the hearing, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) repeatedly questioned Cardona on his views about the injustice of allowing biological males to compete against female athletes in girls’ sports. In a telling exchange, Cardona refused to acknowledge the violation of fairness and equity being denied female student-athletes in policies that allow students to participate according to their “gender identity,” not their biological sex – as President Biden mandated by Executive Order on his first day in office.

Cardona’s refusal to recognize the primary responsibility of a Secretary of Education to enforce Title IX, a civil rights law that requires equality of opportunity in education programs and activities on the basis of sex, should be a disqualifying factor. With encouragement from Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC), five Republican Senators on the committee voted against advancing Cardona’s nomination: Rand Paul (Kentucky), Mike Braun (Indiana), Tim Scott (South Carolina), Roger Marshall (Kansas), and Tommy Tuberville (Alabama). They deserve to be commended for their position. Other Senators should be encouraged to follow their lead in opposing Cardona’s confirmation when it is considered by the entire Senate.

Seeing these threats to Title IX and female athletes, federal legislation to protect fairness under the law in women’s sports is gaining support in Congress. The “Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act” has been introduced in the House by Congressman Greg Steube (R-Florida) and in the Senate by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah). To date, they have been joined by over 30 cosponsors. This important legislation would clarify for schools receiving federal funds that it would be in violation of Title IX for biological males to participate in sports designated for women or girls.

Joining advocates in support of Senate introduction, Doreen Denny, Vice President of Government Relations for CWALAC, had this to say:

“Protecting fairness and equality for women and girls in sports should not be a partisan issue. It should be a cause that unites all lawmakers to stand for women’s rights and the intent and purpose of Title IX for female student-athletes. Concerned Women for America LAC is grateful for Sen. Mike Lee and cosponsors of the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act for being the true champions of Title IX and female athletes in today’s gender-crazed world.”

CWALAC sent a letter of endorsement to the bills’ sponsors, applauding them for standing with us in support of female athletes and upholding women’s equality of opportunity under federal law. It is time to encourage all members of Congress to take action and cosponsor the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act.

Please visit CWA’s Standing with Female Athletes page to learn more!


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Press Release: Women are Grieving as Biden Initiates Assault on Female Identity and the Sanctity of Human Life

By | CEO, News and Events, Press Releases, Sanctity of Life, Sexual Exploitation, Women's Sports | No Comments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 22, 2021

Contact:
Natalie Panettiere
202-266-4816, [email protected]

Women are Grieving as Biden Initiates Assault  on Female Identity and the Sanctity of Human Life

Statement from Penny Young Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America:

“As women who stand for what it means to be female created in God’s image and bearers of human life, Concerned Women for America (CWA) is grieving today on the 48th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

“This week, Joe Biden took his hand off the Holy Bible at his swearing-in and within hours began a full out assault on women and human life as president. It is only the beginning of his promised actions to erase women and force taxpayers to finance the killing of unborn babies, underscoring the dark consequences of this election.

“With the stroke of a pen, President Biden ordered federal agencies to replace the meaning of sex with “gender identity,” allowing any male to claim status as a woman. Let me be clear, CWA will never accept the identity theft of female dignity. We will actively oppose this policy along with every real feminist in America.

“Biden’s radical gender policy eviscerates protections for women in domestic violence shelters, prisons, and locker rooms. His order aims to repeal Title IX, a civil rights law enacted 48 years ago to advance women’s equal rights in education and athletics. Biden’s mandate rejects a sex-based standard in women’s sports, even though poll after poll shows 75-80% of Americans oppose allowing biological males to compete against female athletes in women’s sports.

“With equal audacity, President Biden dispatched Dr. Anthony Fauci to the World Health Organization to preview his aggressive abortion agenda. Dr. Fauci announced the repeal of Mexico City Policy, which prevents taxpayer funds from being used to promote abortion as women’s health care overseas – a restriction 75% of the American people support. Of all people, Dr. Fauci should be unifying the country to fight COVID-19, not doing Biden’s bidding to promote a culture of death.

“Biden has nominated an abortion radical, Xavier Becerra, to be Secretary of Health and Human Services.  As California’s Attorney General, Becerra aggressively sued the Little Sisters of the Poor and other states for their laws to limit abortion. Biden has promised to repeal Title X regulations and the Hyde Amendment, forcing American taxpayers to fund the destruction of innocent human life on demand, despite the fact a majority of Americans oppose these repeals.

“Unity is clearly not the objective of the Biden Administration. Americans should be shocked and appalled by the deeds this President has done to divide this country in just his first hours in office.”

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Bipartisan Duo in Congress Unites to Protect Women’s Sports

By | Legislative Updates, News and Events, Sexual Exploitation, Women's Sports | No Comments

Democrat Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) and Republican Markwayne Mullin (R-Oklahoma) have joined hands across the aisle to protect the rights of female athletes under Title IX, the federal law that ensures equal opportunities and benefits in education on the basis of sex. A former 2020 Democrat presidential candidate and four-term member of Congress, Gabbard has bucked the Democrat party’s lock-step campaign to repeal Title IX discrimination based on biological sex and replace the definition of sex with gender identity. This manipulation of Title IX’s intent gives any male the chance to claim transgender status and compete on women’s sports teams.

In the first demonstration of bipartisanship on this issue, Reps Gabbard and Mullin introduced the Protect Women’s Sports Act patterned after a bill introduced earlier this year by Republican House members Greg Steube (R-Florida) and Debbie Lesko (R-Arizona). The legislation has a straightforward objective: reaffirm Title IX’s intent based on biological sex and require schools receiving federal funds to abide by this biological distinction in women’s sports in order to comply with federal civil rights law.

By opposing male transgender participation in women’s sports, Gabbard makes a significant statement about the current extremism of her party denying equality of rights for women and girls as female.

In 1972, Title IX provided landmark protections for female students in education by prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex. This opened a world of new opportunities for women and girls in academics and athletics that has become commonplace three generations later. Most girls today have no idea what their predecessors fought to achieve and won – nor what they stand to lose.

But some female student-athletes, like Selina Soule, Chelsea Mitchell and Alanna Smith in Connecticut; Madison Kenyon and Mary Kate Marshall in Idaho; and the daughter of world-champion track athlete Cynthia Monteleone in Hawaii, have faced a different reality as they were forced to compete on an unfair playing field against biological males identifying as girls and forfeit the chance to succeed as they should.

Activism around transgender inclusion in women’s sports is sidelining the achievements of female student-athletes, putting their safety at risk, and silencing their voices. It is also rewriting the purpose of what Title IX was enacted to protect. Democrats have been hypocritical about this discrimination against women and girls, choosing to ignore biological truths that matter in sports (and facilities) and bowing instead to transactivist demands that deny the rights of females who have the most to lose.

In a statement on the Protect Women’s Sports Act, Gabbard declares, ”Our legislation protects Title IX’s original intent which was based on the general biological distinction between men and women athletes based on sex. It is critical that the legacy of Title IX continues to ensure women and girls in sports have the opportunity to compete and excel on a level playing field.”

Mullins, the father of wrestlers including three daughters, had this to say, ”As the father of three girls involved in athletics, I want them to be able to compete on a level playing field. I am proud to lead this bill that will safeguard the integrity of women’s sports and ensure female athletes can compete fairly.”

By reclaiming Title IX protections for female athletes, Tulsi Gabbard is challenging the Democrat party establishment. Her retirement from Congress now leaves the mission to display the same courage to others.  Perhaps they can be persuaded by the substantial majorities of Americans who oppose male trans-athletes competing against females in women’s sports.  As Gabbard’s support and partnership with Mullin make clear, this should not be a partisan issue, but a matter of biological reality, fair play, and common sense – principles that should unite us.

Doreen Denny is Vice President of Government Relations for Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee.

CWA’s Victory in Transgender Sports Case a Win for Women’s Rights

By | Legislative Updates, News and Events, Sexual Exploitation, Women's Sports | No Comments

By Doreen Denny, Vice President of Government Relations

Concerned Women for America (CWA) just landed a significant victory protecting the rights of college female athletes under federal law.

The U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) resolved CWA’s sex discrimination complaint against Franklin Pierce University (FPU) in New Hampshire, finding the college had violated Title IX by allowing a male transgender athlete to compete in women’s sports. The FPU Ravens took home the 2019 NCAA Track and Field Championship national title in the women’s 400-meter hurdles won by an athlete who had previously competed on its men’s team. During the season, the runner identifying as a woman but biologically male-dominated female competition and was celebrated “Women’s Track Athlete of the Week” by the Northeast-10 Conference.

CWA saw in this case and others how the future of women’s sports was at risk and the equal rights of female athletes being infringed. We filed a formal civil rights complaint against FPU in response to this injustice.

Title IX requires equal educational benefits and opportunities for students, including in athletics, on the basis of sex, not gender identity. The federal law extends to any school receiving federal financial assistance, including public K-12 schools and virtually every college and university in America.

OCR agreed with CWA that FPU had violated Title IX equal opportunity protections for female athletes.  The university chose to enter a resolution agreement  requiring it to “rescind its transgender participation and inclusion policy” and “cease any and all practices related thereto.”  This notice is also required to be posted in a prominent location on its website.

For girls fearing their chance to compete on an equal playing field could be erased, this is good news.  For female athletes at the high school and college level, insist on your rights under Title IX.  Any school that defies federal civil rights law by denying women equal opportunities in athletic programs or forcing women to compete against transgender athletes who are biologically male stands to lose.

The battle to save women’s sports is not over, but the resolution in CWA’s case against Franklin Pierce University is welcome news.  It dignifies the importance of our work to protect female status, fairness and safety in sports designated for women and girls.

Both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate have legislation pending to protect female athletes that would further our cause. The Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act of 2020 would specifically require in federal law that sex-specific sports for women and girls under Title IX be restricted to females based on biological sex. Please contact your members of Congress and ask them to support this legislation today.

Press Release: University Forced to Rescind Transgender Sports Policy

By | Legislative Updates, News and Events, Press Releases, Sexual Exploitation, Women's Sports | No Comments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 16, 2020

Contact: Doreen Denny, Vice President of Government Relations
(202) 420-1491, [email protected]

 University Forced to Rescind Transgender Policy as Violation of Title IX
after Biological Male wins NCAA Championship in Women’s Track

Action Resolves Concerned Women for America Sex Discrimination Complaint

Washington, D.C. – Today, Concerned Women for America (CWA) received notice that the U.S.  Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has resolved CWA’s civil rights complaint in women’s sports against Franklin Pierce University (FPU).  OCR agreed with CWA that FPU’s transgender sports participation and inclusion policy is in violation of Title IX, which prohibits discrimination in educational programs and activities, including athletics, on the basis of sex.

Under the Resolution Agreement, the New Hampshire university, a Division II school in the Northeast-10 Conference, “will rescind its Transgender Participation and Inclusion Policy and will cease any and all practices related thereto.”  FPU’s policy is similar to current NCAA policy that reportedly is under review and on the agenda for consideration by the Board of Governors at their October meeting later this month.

Penny Nance, CWA’s CEO and President had this to say:

“This Resolution Agreement is the first victory for college female athletes being forced to compete on an unfair playing field against males claiming transgender status and competing in women’s sports. We thank the Department of Education for upholding Title IX, which was passed into law 48 years ago to give women and girls equal opportunities in sports based on biological sex.

“Transgender policies have turned Title IX on its head, denying the rights of women and girl athletes to compete only against athletes of the same sex and threatening the future of women’s sports. Federal action against Franklin Pierce University is a warning shot to the NCAA and every college and university in America to back off policies that discriminate against female student-athletes and restore fairness and equity in women’s sports.”

CWA’s complaint was filed last year after a Franklin Pierce University student-athlete, who previously had competed on the men’s track team, transitioned to compete as a member of the women’s team and won a national title at the 2019 Division II NCAA Track and Field Championships in the Women’s 400-meter hurdles.

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Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC) is the legislation and advocacy arm of Concerned Women for America, the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization with a rich 40-year history of helping our members across the country bring Biblical principles into all levels of public policy.

Why Title IX and the Future of Female Sports are at Risk Today

By | Legislative Updates, News and Events, Sexual Exploitation, Women's Sports | No Comments

CWA’s Vice President of Government Relations, Doreen Denny, appeared on Save Women’s Sports webinar to discuss Title IX and the future of women’s sports in America including the need for passage of the  Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act of 2020.

The webinar was co-hosted by Beth Stelzer, Founder of Save Women’s Sports, and Dr. Linda Blade. Doreen was featured along with Dr. Kristopher Hunt, ER Physician and Medical Director for USA Powerlifting, and Kara Dansky, Lawyer with the Women’s Human Rights Campaign-USA.

Listen to the Entire Show Here and Hear Doreen Beginning at 35:30.

Visit our CWALAC Action Center to send a letter to your U.S. Senators and Representative requesting their support for the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act of 2020

Press Release: Senate Conservatives Stand with Female Student-Athletes

By | Legislative Updates, News and Events, Press Releases, Sexual Exploitation, Women's Sports | No Comments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 22, 2020

Contact: Doreen Denny, Vice President of Government Relations
(202) 420-1491, [email protected]

Senate Conservatives Stand with Female
Student-Athletes to Protect Title IX from Bostock Fallout

Washington, D.C. – Today, Sens. Kelly Loeffler (R-Georgia), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee), Mike Lee (R-Utah), James Lankford (R-Oklahoma), and Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) introduced the “Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act of 2020.”  This legislation would clarify schools’ responsibility under Title IX to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex from being overruled by allowing males claiming transgender status to participate in women’s sports.

Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee, welcomed this landmark bill as necessary to protect women’s rights in the fight for a fair playing field for female student-athletes who are being forced in interscholastic competition and the NCAA to compete against athletes who are physically male but asserting identity as women or girls:

“Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee thanks Sens. Loeffler, Blackburn, Lee, Lankford, and Cotton for standing with us at the forefront of the fight to protect equal opportunity in women’s sports. We applaud their leadership in the U.S. Senate introducing the “Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act of 2020,” which recognizes that female student-athletes are denied their rights when Title IX is not used to defend them.

Today, our daughter athletes are being bullied by activists and sidelined by silence.  They simply want to compete on a level playing field against athletes of their own sex.  That is what Title IX achieved for female student-athletes over 40 years ago. We urge all members of the Senate to work to preserve the rights of women and girls on the basis of biological sex. Women and girls, regardless of political persuasion, deserve to have the laws that protect us respected and followed, ensuring equal opportunities and benefits in sports for all female athletes.”

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Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee (CWALAC) is the legislation and advocacy arm of Concerned Women for America, the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization with a rich 40-year history of helping our members across the country bring Biblical principles into all levels of public policy.

DeVos Stands With Female Athletes Forced to Face Transgender Competitors

By | Legislative Updates, News and Events, Sexual Exploitation, Women's Sports | No Comments

Read Concerned Women for America’s Vice President of Government Relations, Doreen Denny, op-ed in CNS-News online.

“It’s Official! Bostock Does Not Overrule Biology under Title IX,” says Doreen Denny, Concerned Women for America’s Vice President of Government Relations. The U.S.  Department of Education (ED) has heard Concerned Women for America’s plea to stand strong in defense of fairness and equity for female student-athletes by asserting that the Supreme Court decision in Bostock does not overrule biological sex under Title IX!  On September 1, 2020, CWA received a landmark response to a letter sent to Secretary Betsy DeVos urging her “to take proactive measures to ensure consistency, equality, and fair play in every athletics department in every educational institution across the country.”

On June 25, 2020, marking the 48th Anniversary of Title IX, CEO and President, Penny Nance, sent a letter thanking  Secretary DeVos and the Trump Administration for their support to protect a fair playing field for female student-athletes, including Selina Soule and her teammates in Connecticut who had been forced under state policy to compete in high school track against biological male students identifying as girls.

CWA’s letter to Secretary DeVos also emphasized the need for further decisive action:

“The battle to protect the integrity and fairness of women’s sports is ground zero in the fight for women’s rights. As mothers, daughters, granddaughters, sisters all, we urge you to heed our plea to stand firmly for our rights as women and take bold actions to ensure Title IX is protected at every level of education in our country.”

This week, ED’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) responded to CWA with an emphatic determination of policy detailing why the Supreme Court decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, the case that extended transgender status to employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, cannot be used to deny protection from discrimination based on biological sex under Title IX.

OCR’s letter to CWA unequivocally states ED’s “commitment to ensuring that Title IX is vigorously enforced at every level of education.” It also provides legal justification for why the Bostock decision does not control ED’s responsibility under Title IX or its regulations, concluding:

“The Supreme Court’s opinion in Bostock does not affect the Department’s position that its Title IX regulations authorize single-sex teams based only on biological sex at birth – male or female – as opposed to a person’s gender identity.”

OCR’s Acting Assistant Secretary, Kimberly Richey, also assures CWA that ED will continue its work to enforce Title IX and investigate complaints. CWA has filed two civil rights complaints at the college level, against Franklin Pierce University and the University of Montana, for allowing male athletes who changed their gender identity to compete and win national and conference NCAA titles against female athletes:

“The Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is responsible for enforcing Title IX, and the Department remains committed to the full, fair, and effective enforcement of that statute. Please be assured that OCR will continue to investigate all complaints under Title IX thoroughly, including those related to female athletics.”

In addition to the letter to CWA, OCR issued its interpretation of the Bostock decision in a Revised Letter of Impending Enforcement Action in the complaint against the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference and member school districts. In its ruling, ED asserts its regulatory mandate and enforcement authority to uphold the equal benefits and opportunities required under Title IX on the basis of biological sex.

As court cases continue in Connecticut and Idaho seeking to defend the rights of women and girl student-athletes to compete on an equal playing field against other female athletes, judges should heed ED’s authority over Title IX and give this official position the deference it deserves.

It is also critical that the government’s official position on Title IX in light of Bostock – which, in addition to athletics, permits separate living facilities, “toilet, locker room, and shower facilities on the basis of sex” – gets in the hands of every state lawmaker, school board, and local school district in America. This is a definitive statement of Title IX policy that all schools and universities receiving federal funds must follow. Please help make that happen by sharing the letter to CWA with these officials today!

Key Update on the NCAA & Idaho’s Fairness in Women’s Sports Act

By | Legislative Updates, News and Events, Sexual Exploitation, Women's Sports | No Comments

Important Update: NCAA’s Board of Governors did not take action against Idaho for enacting the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act at their meeting on August 4. That is good news!! But the fight is not over!

A sportswriter in Idaho reported this statement: “The NCAA is working with national and international groups as it reviews its current transgender athlete policy. Inclusion and fairness are the objectives in addressing the complex set of issues. The NCAA Board of Governors will hear an update regarding the policy review at its October meeting as it considers future championship host sites. The NCAA is monitoring the lawsuit involving Idaho Bill 500 and will review the court’s decision when it is made.”

Activists are going even further in pressing the NCAA to change its policy to remove any requirement for hormone treatment for a male to compete in women’s sports. Instead, they want any male identifying as a woman to be eligible to compete in women’s sports against female athletes.

We must continue to act to protect the status of females and the integrity of women’s sports for female athletes. You can help in two ways:

  1. Over 300 female athletes signed the letter to the NCAA! We continue to gather signatures for the letter petitioning the NCAA to back off any boycott of Idaho. Please help us reach out to current or former NCAA or professional female athletes and have them Sign Here.
  2. Stand with us to protect female athletes by signing our petition to the International Olympic Committee requesting suspension of the 2015 guidelines allowing biological males to compete in women’s Olympic events. To date, Save Women’s Sports has collected over 15,000 signatures from 30 countries! Sign Here.

Thank you for joining Concerned Women for America to Save Women’s Sports!

P.S. Doreen Denny, Vice President of Government Relations, joined Washington Watch recently to discuss CWA’s effort to protect the rights of female athletes under Title IX. Listen here.

DOJ Backs Idaho’s Fairness in Women’s Sports Act

By | Blog, Legislative Updates, News and Events, Sexual Exploitation, Women's Sports | No Comments

By Lindsey Hudson, Intern for Concerned Women for America’s Government Relations Department

Idaho is spearheading the fight to protect and maintain equal opportunity and fair competition for female athletes in sports. The state saw a problem with women’s rights, safety, scholarships, and opportunities being stripped away and decided to be the first to do something about it.

Idaho enacted House Bill 500, the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act (Fairness Act) to prevent male students identifying as females from participating on female sports teams. This bill explains males have biological differences: denser, stronger bones, greater lung capacity, higher levels of testosterone. These scientific, biological differences give males an unfair advantage in athleticism when compared to female athletes. The Fairness Act signed into law on March 30, 2020, will be put into effect next month. State lawmakers in 14 additional states are in agreement with Idaho’s Fairness Act and have acted by proposing similar legislation. Through their legislators, citizens across the U.S. are seeking to preserve fair competition in women’s sports. Yet, certain organizations continue to actively oppose this form of equal opportunity.

The state’s brave actions towards protecting women’s rights are facing unjustifiable pushback from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The progressive, leftist organization immediately filed a lawsuit contesting Idaho’s Fairness Act. The ACLU also sent a letter to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), pressuring the sports association to boycott Idaho from holding any NCAA sporting events.

Despite these threats to the Fairness Act, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has rightly spoken up to back the constitutionality of the bill. DOJ’s Attorney General William P. Barr states this on the action: “Allowing biological males to compete in all-female sports is fundamentally unfair to female athletes. Under the Constitution, the Equal Protection Clause allows Idaho to recognize the physiological differences between the biological sexes in athletics.”

DOJ’s involvement in the federal lawsuit gives needed lift in protecting female athletes’ rights, especially those facing the problem on the front lines. Mary Kate Marshall and Madison Kenyon, two Idaho college track athletes who have faced this unjust competition in the Big Sky Conference, have joined the state of Idaho in defense of the Fairness Act, opposing the ACLU’s lawsuit. Victory in this case would ensure female athletes continued equal opportunity in championships, scholarships, and fairly competing at their best.

The track and cross-country athlete, Madison Kenyon, had this to say: “Sex separation in sports helps ensure that males and females each enjoy opportunities for fair competition and victory. It helps ensure that if women like me work hard, that hard work pays off, and we have a shot at winning.”

This summer marked the 48th anniversary of Title IX, the federal civil rights law that prohibits students participating in any education program or activity from being discriminated against on the basis of sex. Title IX established a way for female student-athletes to have equal opportunity and fair competition within women’s sports. According to The Women’s Sports Foundation, only one in 27 girls participated in school sports before Title IX, but since the creation of Title IX, two in five girls now participate in school sports. We must now realize that by allowing biological males to compete in women’s sports, female student-athletes will be hindered in participating and fairly competing in the long run.

The Trump Justice Department’s support, state lawmakers’ proposed legislation, and citizens speaking up for fairness and equity in women’s sports competition are big wins for conserving female athletes’ rights. The conflict has not been won, however, due to intense activist opposition. Concerned Women for America urges you to use your voice to support an equal playing field for all female student-athletes.

ACT NOW:  It’s time for the NCAA to defend, not undermine, female athletes. If you are a current or former NCAA or professional female athlete who cares about fairness in women’s sports, please sign this letter to the NCAA! The deadline to sign is July 24.