Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren took to Twitter on Feb. 20 to urge Arizona lawmakers to reject a bill that would protect female student-athletes from being forced to compete against biological males that identify as transgender.
If passed, HB 2706, also known as the “Save Women’s Sports Act,” would require all educational institutions to categorize sports as male, female or co-ed—based on the legal definition of “biological sex.”
State Rep. Nancy Barto, chief co-sponsor of the bill, argues that the legislation promotes fairness: “Female student-athletes should not be forced to compete in a sport against biological males, who possess inherent physiological advantages. When this is allowed, it discourages female participation in athletics and, worse, it can result in women and girls being denied crucial educational and financial opportunities.”
At a Planned Parenthood Action Fund event in Des Moines, Iowa, on Feb. 15, Warren stressed that “we need to have women representing us and we need to have people who are sympathetic to women representing us.” But when it comes to legislation that encourages legitimacy and respect for female athletes, she seems to feel differently.
“Trans athletes are not a threat,” Warren posted on Twitter just five days later. “We need to protect trans kids—and all LGBTQ+ kids—and ensure they feel safe and welcomed at school. I urge the Arizona legislature to reject this cruel bill.”
Libby Emmons, an author at The Federalist and The Post Millennial, challenged Warren’s argument, pointing out that “male bodied persons who compete in women’s rugby are so dangerous that referees were quitting the sport rather than watch the women’s injuries mount.”
Duke law professor and former All-American track athlete Doraine Lambelet Coleman also identified flaws in Warren’s position.
“If sports were not segregated, most school-aged females would be eliminated from competition during the earliest rounds,” she told the House Judiciary Committee last year.
She went on to explain that even the odd exception can negatively affect female athletes: “It only takes three male-bodied athletes to preclude the best females from the medal stand and eight to exclude them from the track.”
“Warren is clearly ignoring the needs and feelings of females in favor of propagating the transgender ideology,” said Beth Stelzer, founder of the Save Women’s Sports coalition. “This bill is not cruel, it is fair.”
Twenty-two Republicans in the Arizona House have already signed on as co-sponsors of the bill, and similar bills are being introduced in Kentucky, Alabama, Idaho and Missouri.
Above: Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren speaks at the One Iowa and GLAAD LGBTQ Presidential Forum in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Sept. 20, 2019.
Photo: Scott Morgan/Reuters/Newscom