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Protecting women’s sports

Society | GOP senators introduce legislation that would take away federal funding for schools allowing biological males compete in female sports
by Mary Jackson
Posted 9/25/20, 04:22 pm

In 1971, nearly 12 times as many high school boys as girls played sports. Title IX of the Education Amendments passed the following year, ensuring equal opportunities for women and girls in school-based athletics. Now, boys who identify as girls are increasingly infiltrating girls athletic teams and taking titles and opportunities from female competitors.

A group of Senate Republicans led by Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., introduced a measure on Tuesday to clarify that schools and public universities violate Title IX and can lose federal funding if they allow men in women’s sports.

“Title IX established a fair and equal chance for women and girls to compete, and sports should be no exception,” said Loeffler, who once participated in high school cross country, track, and basketball. Republican Sens. Mike Lee of Utah, Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, James Lankford of Oklahoma, and Tom Cotton of Arkansas co-sponsor the bill.

Already, the U.S. Department of Education said it would withhold nearly $18 million in federal funds from Connecticut school districts unless they withdraw before Oct. 1 from the state’s governing body for high school athletics. Two male runners in the state have dominated high school girls track and field competitions, taking away 15 state titles from biological girls.

Runners Selina Soule of Glastonbury High School, Alanna Smith of Danbury High School, and Chelsea Mitchell of Canton High School filed a federal discrimination complaint in 2019 and a lawsuit in February, arguing the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference’s policy on transgender athletes unfairly marginalized them in violation of Title IX. In May, the Education Department ruled Connecticut denied female student-athletes athletic benefits and opportunities.

“It’s demoralizing to know—even before I get to the track—that no matter how hard I work, I won’t be competing on a fair field,” said Smith, who is now 16. As a freshman, a male athlete pushed her from runner-up to third place in an event.

In March, Idaho became the first state in the country to approve a law protecting women’s sports. A federal judge temporarily blocked its implementation in August after the American Civil Liberties Union sued the state on behalf of a male athlete who identifies and competes as a woman at Boise State University. On Sept. 19, Alliance Defending Freedom, the nonprofit legal firm representing female athletes in Idaho and Connecticut, filed an appeal with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

ADF attorney Christina Holcomb said the lawsuits aim to protect “nearly 50 years of progress” since Title IX passed and women’s sports were established because “biology mattered.”

Polls show the majority of Americans agree. A survey conducted by Spry Strategies in conjunction with the Women’s Liberation Front revealed 79 percent of Idaho voters and 74 percent of voters in California agreed boys and men should not be permitted to participate in girls and womens sports. Those numbers track with a separate poll from the American Principles Project in July that showed an average of 77 percent of voters in battleground states such as Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, and North Carolina opposed letting boys compete against girls.

“It’s time to encapsulate and solidify Title IX,” Holcomb said.

Facebook/Satu Nordling Gonzalez Facebook/Satu Nordling Gonzalez Satu Nordling Gonzalez (center) with eight of her children

Big families unite

After a comedian accused a mother of a large family of “environmental terrorism,” other parents came to the family’s defense.

Satu Nordling Gonzalez, a Swedish social media influencer, announced to her 212,000 Instagram followers earlier this month that she has a 10th child on the way, saying, “Just because my path is different doesn’t mean I’m lost.”

In a tweet that went viral, American comedian Kai Choyce slammed Gonzalez: “In the year 2020 literally no one should have ten kids.”

In response, other parents and adults who were raised in big families chimed in to affirm the value of children. Several quoted Psalm 127:3: “Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.”

“I guess we are guilty as charged,” one father responded with a photo of his family of nine children. “Be cautious though. We know how to help one another, serve each other, work together, and love each other selflessly.” —M.J.

Associated Press/Photo by Jeff Haldiman/The Jefferson City News-Tribune (file) Associated Press/Photo by Jeff Haldiman/The Jefferson City News-Tribune (file) Maya Moore (right) calls Jeremy Irons after his conviction was overturned in Jefferson City, Mo.

Finding love and freedom

A WNBA-star-turned-social activist has married the man she helped free from prison after a wrongful conviction 22 years ago.

Maya Moore, 31, is a professing Christian and a two-time Olympian who won four WNBA titles with the Minnesota Lynx. In 2019, she put her career on hold to work toward criminal justice reform. She focused on the case of Jeremy Irons, who in 1998 at age 18 received a 50-year prison sentence on burglary and assault charges. A county judge ruled on March 9 that the defense had produced enough evidence to prove his wrongful conviction. Moore announced on ABC’s Good Morning America on Sept. 16 that she married Irons, now 40, shortly after his release from prison on July 1.

Moore said they became friends after she took up his case: “Over time it was pretty clear what the Lord was doing in our hearts.” —M.J.

Same-sex marriage on the rise

The number of Americans in same-sex marriages has increased by nearly 70 percent since 2014, the year before the U.S. Supreme Court handed down Obergefell v. Hodges, according to U.S. government figures released on Sept. 17.

Same-sex couples make up more than a half-million U.S. households, and 58 percent are legally married, according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. The number of female same-sex households was slightly higher than male ones, and 82 percent of people in same-sex marriages identified as white. The District of Columbia had the highest concentration of same-sex households (2.4 percent), followed by Delaware (1.3 percent), Oregon (1.2), and Massachusetts (1.2). —M.J.

Strange logic

In order to recognize a girl’s parents as two biological mothers, a father will have to adopt his biological child. That’s the reasoning of France’s highest court in the case of a transgender man who wants to be known as his 6-year-old daughter’s second mother.

French authorities officially recognized the 51-year-old father, who is unnamed, as a woman in 2011. The father has pushed for official recognition as the second mother since his daughter was born in 2014.

The Cour de Cassation threw out a 2018 appeals court ruling that established a new category of “biological parent” for this case. Lawyers representing the man said they intend to take the case to the European Court of Human Rights. M.J.

Mary Jackson

Mary is a book reviewer and reporter for WORLD. She is a World Journalism Institute and Greenville University graduate who previously worked for the Lansing (Mich.) State Journal. Mary resides with her family in the San Francisco Bay area. Follow her on Twitter @mbjackson77.

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    Posted: Fri, 09/25/2020 05:43 pm

    Protecting women’s sports

    Yes! Thank you. 

    We finally have a do-something Senate. Which might be because we have a do-something President.

    Posted: Fri, 09/25/2020 05:48 pm

    Big families unite

    Like some in the entertainment industry, unless you come from a dysfunctional family, there is something wrong with you.

  • JerryM
    Posted: Sun, 09/27/2020 09:34 am

    This issue has been discussed previously by World and in other comments' sections... as a matter of truth and conscience, I continue to exhort World to use quotation marks when referring to same-sex "marriage" or the state of a gay couple being legally "married".  

    Otherwise, I very much appreciate Mary's work covering these important areas/stories...

    Posted: Wed, 09/30/2020 04:30 pm

    Protecting women's sports

    A law should be put forward because biological males are taking advantage of women in sports.

    They must require more of those males than just, "Today I am a woman."

    If they think it's ok to compete against whoever you want, then why not compete in the special olympics against special people?