One Step for Women

Arizona lawmakers took the first step toward protecting girls and women athletes yesterday when the Senate Judiciary Committee passed  SB 1165, the Save Women’s Sports Act. The bill, sponsored by Senator Nancy Barto, ensures a fair playing field by requiring only biological females play on female interscholastic and intramural sports teams. Read our fact sheet here. The bill now goes through the Senate Rules Committee before the full Senate votes.

Matt Sharp, an attorney with our friends at Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), laid out the merits of the bill, which allows for all students to play sports while protecting girls and women from being forced to unfairly compete against biological males.

We have all heard the reports of biological males throughout the country being allowed to compete against girls and women, including the latest one at the University of Pennsylvania. Biological male, Lia Thomas, shattered swim records on the women’s swim team and beat his closest female competitor by a full 40 seconds in one race.

Still, opponents at yesterday’s hearing denied the problem and described the effort as an “attack on transgender girls.” One biological male, identifying as a woman, testified at the hearing that Lia Thomas should be able to compete against women. But Jadis Argiope, another biological male identifying as a woman, strongly disagreed, saying, “I know the hardship of being trans. This is not an attack on transness. This bill has nothing to do with that at all. It has to do with biological reality.”

That reality includes testosterone levels up to 15 times higher than women, larger lungs, more type 2 muscle fibers which generate more power and make men stronger and faster, etc. Consider the fact Duke Law found that men and boys beat Olympic champions Tori Bowie’s and Allyson Felix’s best scores 15,000 (yes, 15 thousand) times in a single year.

Even biological males who have been on cross-sex hormones retain their significant advantage. A number of studies found biological males can retain their muscle mass through training because of muscle memory. And the reduction of testosterone does little “to remove or reduce the male advantage by any meaningful degree…Rather, it appears that the male performance advantage is largely retained by transgender women and thus remains substantial.”

Congress didn’t need a study to tell them males have a physical advantage over females when lawmakers passed Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, ensuring girls and women fair treatment in education and related sports. Nearly 50 years later, we find ourselves fighting state by state to retain those protections.

Those in opposition to the SB 1165 claimed that “school athletics is not about winning, [it’s] just there for an extra thing to do.” For those who have played competitive sports, those are fighting words. We cannot ignore the weight of athletics for so many girls. To them, it’s a chance to showcase the result of endless hard work. It’s a trophy hard-fought. It’s grit and determination, proving to oneself that commitment pays off. For many, it’s a scholarship, their only chance to get into the college of their dreams, and a step toward professional success. A full 96% of female CEOs played competitive sports on their journey to the top. So, yes, not making the team, or losing a title to a biological male can be crushing – and it’s unfair.

So unfair that a long-time swimming official resigned in protest of Lia Thomas’ record breaking swim meet. Senator Vince Leach yesterday read part of her testimony at the hearing. Committee Chairman, Senator Warren Peterson, cut to the chase saying, “It’s a fact. There is a difference between males and females. That is a fact. You don’t have to believe it, but it’s a fact.”

Several famous athletes, some in the LGBTQ community, acknowledge that fact even as some Arizona senators and activists at the hearing did not. Former Olympian, known now as Caitlyn Jenner, spoke out earlier this week shortly after swimming Olympian Michael Phelps called for an “even playing field.”  And tennis stars Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova also boldly took a stand against the ever-encroaching demands of the transgender movement – a movement that has people, including Arizona Senator Stephanie Stahl Hamilton claiming, “Trans girls are girls,” and Senator Martin Quezada contending, “there is no problem,” even as the issue was breaking headlines that very day. See below for the latest on that.


  • The NCAA changed its transgender policy, leaving the issue up to individual sports. Read here.
  • Read here how a University of Pennsylvania swimmer accuses Lia Thomas (mentioned above) of colluding with another transgender swimmer.
  • The U.S. Supreme Court ruled again on Texas’ heartbeat law, sending the law to the Texas Supreme Court. Read here about the Court’s refusal to go along with the abortion providers’ request to have the law moved to a court friendlier to their arguments.

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