Riley Gaines Enrages Dem Congresswoman with Rebuttal to 'Bigotry' Allegation, Sending Hearing Into Chaos


Former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines testified Tuesday on Capitol Hill on why she opposes biological men who identify as women competing in women’s sports.

The House Oversight Committee on Health Care and Financial Services held a hearing on “the Importance of Protecting Female Athletics and Title IX.”

In her opening remarks subcommittee ranking member Democratic Rep. Summer Lee of Pennsylvania said, “Although the title of this hearing implies a much-needed discussion, we’re likely going to be forced to listen to transphobic bigotry.”

During her testimony later in the hearing, Gaines said, “Unsafe, unfair, and discriminatory practices towards women must stop. Inclusion cannot be prioritized over safety and fairness.”

Then addressing Lee directly, Gaines added, “If my testimony makes me transphobic, then I believe your opening monologue makes you a misogynist.”

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Shortly thereafter, Lee, who just took office in January, called on Subcommittee Chairwoman GOP Rep. Lisa McClain of Michigan to have Gaines’ remarks about her struck from the record, saying the witness was “engaging in personalities.”

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The House “personalities” decorum rule has to do with how members of Congress address each other, requiring them to debate the issues at hand and not engage in personal attacks. However, it does not have to do with how witnesses before the committee address lawmakers.

Gaines interjected before McClain ruled on the matter asking, “Could I just ask how it’s fair to be called transphobic?”

McClain, Lee and staff members conferred, resulting in Lee saying, “OK, I move to withdraw the point of order.”

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Gaines made national headlines during the 2022 NCAA Swim Championships when she tied for fifth place in the 200-yard freestyle with Lia Thomas, a man, who identifies as a woman. Officials gave the fifth place trophy to Thomas.

Gaines was told she could stand on the winner’s dais next to Thomas and was given a sixth place trophy to hold to make it appear both were receiving awards.

In April, the Biden administration’s Department of Education submitted a rule change to Title IX making it a violation to bar biological men who identify as women from participating in women’s sports.

“Under the proposed regulation, schools would not be permitted to adopt or apply a one-size-fits-all policy that categorically bans transgender students from participating on teams consistent with their gender identity,” the public notice said.

“Instead, the Department’s approach would allow schools flexibility to develop team eligibility criteria that serve important educational objectives, such as ensuring fairness in competition or preventing sports-related injury. These criteria would have to account for the sport, level of competition, and grade or education level to which they apply,” the notice continued.

“One-size-fits-all policies that categorically ban transgender students from participating in athletics consistent with their gender identity across all sports, age groups, and levels of competition would not satisfy the proposed regulation.”

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 2,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith