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Watch: Rand Paul Grills Biden Nominee on Boys Competing in Girls' Athletics

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Joe Biden’s nominee for Secretary of Education embarrassed himself during his confirmation hearing when asked if it’s fair for girls to be forced to compete against boys in sports competitions.

On the first day of his presidency, Biden issued a controversial executive order requiring any school that receives federal funding to allow males who identify as female to compete on girls’ sports teams.

The order also forces girls to share bathrooms and locker rooms with transgender individuals.

During a tense exchange Wednesday before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky asked Miguel Cardona if it’s appropriate for boys to compete against girls in sports, given their physical advantages over females.

Paul, a physician, said Biden’s transgender policy “would completely destroy girls’ athletics” and deprive girls of college scholarships and opportunities to win competitions.

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In June 2020, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights issued a finding concluding a Connecticut athletic association’s policy allowing boys to compete against girls violated Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

“If you’re confirmed, will you enforce that Office of Civil Rights opinion?” Paul asked.

Cardona refused to directly answer the question and instead responded with vague platitudes.

Is it fair to allow boys to compete in girls' sports?

“I understand that there are a lot of concerns about that,” he stammered. “If confirmed, it’s my responsibility and my privilege to make sure that we’re following civil rights of all students, and that includes activities that they may engage in in high school or in athletics.”

Paul then pressed Cardona in a bid to force him to directly answer the question.

“What do you think in general of boys running in girls’ track meets like they’ve been doing in Connecticut?” he asked.

Cardona again refused to answer the question and made ambiguous statements about how sensitive the issue is.

An impatient Paul interjected by asking point-blank: “Do you think it’s fair to have boys running in the girls’ track meet?”

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Cardona replied that he thinks “it’s appropriate,” and added that schools are legally required to provide opportunities for all students — including transgenders — to participate in sports.

Paul pointed out that the top 20 percent of boys running in track meets beat all of the girls in Cardona’s home state of Connecticut, where he’s the education commissioner.

Cardona again echoed more platitudes. “I understand that this is a challenge,” he said. “I look forward to working with you and others.”

Paul said “most people in this country think it’s completely bizarre and unfair” to allow students to compete in girls’ sports on the basis of their preferred gender identity and not their biological sex.

“Some boy who’s 6-foot-2 competing against my 5-foot-4 niece doesn’t sound very fair,” the senator lamented. “I wonder where feminists are on this.”

Paul also said it concerns him that someone who will lead the U.S. Department of Education doesn’t have a problem with that.

He said he believes that most people agree with him, including Cardona, as evidenced by his reluctance to give a straight answer.

“The fact that you seem to be afraid to answer the question, or you basically do answer the question by saying it’s OK without saying it’s OK, really is a statement to a real problem we have and a disconnect between middle America and what most Americans actually believe,” he said.

“I even think that most Democrats don’t believe girls should run in the boys’ track meet [or] boys should run in girls’ track meet, so I’m disappointed in the answer,” Paul added.

Retired British Olympic swimming champ Sharron Davies has slammed the practice of allowing transgender athletes to compete against women.

Davies, who won a silver medal at the 1980 Olympics, said trans athletes have a biological advantage because men have more muscle, bigger lung capacity and better endurance.

“If you are born male … you are going to have a bigger lung capacity,” Davies told Fox News host Tucker Carlson in 2019. “You are going to be taller. You are going to have bigger feet, bigger hands, a better red blood cell count, better hand-eye coordination.”



Davies says these advantages don’t go away simply because a transgender athlete takes testosterone-suppressing hormones during transition.

“The majority of men transition after puberty, so they have all the extra strength that comes with testosterone that’s very much pumped through the body when you go through puberty,” she explained. “Even if you suppress for one year, it will make very little difference to your actual performance. And women just cannot … beat them.”

The 5-foot-10 Davies recounted how hopeless and defeated she felt when she competed against East German swimmers in the 1970s, when the entire East German swim team took steroids.

“That’s not a level playing field,” she said.

UPDATE, Feb. 8, 2021: The fact-checking website PolitiFact has published a “fact check” arguing the claim that President Joe Biden’s Executive Order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation will allow men who identify as women “to compete in women’s sports is misguided.”

PolitiFact’s “fact check” is misleading, however. The argument that the “fact check” refutes isn’t based around any specific mandates, but rather a logical extrapolation of how the order’s guidance will be implemented — guidance which federal agencies, including the U.S. Education Department, are required to follow.

Since the order bans discrimination on the basis of gender, it can be reasonably determined it will then lead to the inclusion of men who identify as women onto the sports’ teams of their choosing, given that this is one of the most oft-cited examples of gender discrimination.

This is by no means a far stretch, considering the order itself asserts that “children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports.”

For a more detailed refutal of PolitiFact’s “fact check,” you can click here.

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Samantha Chang is a politics writer, lawyer and financial editor based in New York City.
Samantha Chang is a politics writer and financial editor based in New York City.




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