By / Jan 11

COLUMBUS, Ohio (BP) – The Ohio House of Representatives Jan. 10th overrode Republican Gov. Mike DeWine’s veto of a bill protecting youth under age 18 from gender transitions and limiting women’s sports teams to biological females.

The Ohio Senate is expected to concur Jan. 24 in overriding DeWine’s veto, Senate President Matt Huffman told Columbus NBC affiliate WCMH, allowing the Saving Ohio Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act and the Save Women’s Sports Act to take effect. Both measures were included in House Bill 68, passed in December. DeWine vetoed it Dec. 29.

The Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) welcomed the override.

The Ohio House of Representatives’ vote to override Gov. DeWine’s veto is a step in the right direction to protect the most vulnerable among us. This vital legislation will protect children from life-changing medical and surgical interventions and protect the integrity of women’s and girls’ sports.

ERLC Vice President and Chief of Staff Miles Mullin

“The ERLC has long maintained the position that children must not be pawns in the sexual revolution, and we will continue to advocate against harmful gender-transition practices,” Mullin said. “And while we affirm the rights of parents in decision-making regarding their children, those rights cannot extend to decisions that harm children’s bodies.”

Read the full Baptist Press article here.

By / Aug 25

In recent years, there has been a growing debate surrounding the participation of transgender athletes in girls’ and women’s sports. After a wave of initial support for making such accommodations, the tide is turning. A Gallup poll finds that a larger majority of Americans now (69%) than in 2021 (62%) say transgender athletes should only be allowed to compete on sports teams that conform with their birth gender. Likewise, fewer endorse transgender athletes being able to play on teams that match their current gender identity—26%, down from 34%.

During this same time period, an increasing number of sports associations and states have recognized that bans on transgender athletes are necessary to protect the integrity and fairness of women’s sports. Here is what you should know about the issue.

What are bans on transgender athletes in sports?

Bans on transgender athletes in sports refer to policies that prevent people who identify as transgender from participating in sports that are consistent with their gender identity. The bans are most commonly applied to biological males who identify as transgender (transgender women). Few biological women who identify as transgender (transgender men) have sought access to competitions against male athletes. 

Why are such bans on transgender athletes necessary?

There are four primary reasons such bans are needed. 

To uphold biological reality.

God created male and female as distinct and complementary sexes. Biological differences between males and females are to be honored and cherished rather than used to gain an unfair advantage. By upholding biological reality, we can ensure that women’s sports remain a space for female athletes to compete on equal footing.

To ensure fair competition.

A key reason why such bans are needed is because biological differences between males and females can provide an unfair advantage in certain sports. Male puberty can result in physiological advantages such as increased muscle mass, bone density, and lung capacity, which can impact athletic performance. By allowing biological males to compete in women’s sports, it is argued that the level playing field for women is compromised. Maureen Collins, writing for Alliance Defending Freedom, has highlighted about a dozen examples of how women have been disadvantaged by competing against men.

To protect women’s opportunities.

Girls and women should have equal opportunities to excel in sports without facing unfair competition. Title IX, a federal law in the United States, was designed to ensure equal athletic opportunities for women. Allowing biological males to compete in women’s sports limits the opportunities available to women, as scholarships, records, and other achievements may be dominated by transgender athletes.

To preserve the integrity of women’s sports.

Maintaining separate categories for males and females is essential to preserve the integrity and essence of women’s sports. Women’s sports have historically provided a platform for female athletes to showcase their skills and achievements, and allowing transgender women to compete undermines this tradition.

Bans on transgender athletes in girls and women’s sports are necessary measures to protect the sanctity, fairness, and opportunities of women’s sports. Christians should uphold biological reality, protect women’s opportunities, and preserve the sanctity of women’s sports by supporting such bans.  

Where are such bans on transgender athletes currently in place?

As of August 2023, 23 states in the United States have enacted laws to ban transgender athletes from participating in sports aligned with their gender identity

These bans apply to both K-12 and collegiate level sports teams. The states with bans on transgender athlete participation in college sports include:

Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

The Supreme Court has declined to intervene in enforcing bans on transgender athletes in West Virginia, affirming the constitutionality of such restrictions.

In April, the U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation that would bar transgender women and girls from participating in athletic programs designated for women. The bill has no chance of passing the Democratic-controlled Senate or being signed into law by President Biden. 

However, Biden’s Department of Education proposed a rule change that—while not allowing a blanket ban—would give universities and K-12 schools the discretion to limit the participation of transgender students if they conclude that including transgender athletes could undermine competitive fairness or potentially lead to sports-related injuries.

Which sports organizations ban biological males from competing against girls and women?

In 2022, the Union Cycliste Internationale, the governing body for cycling, announced a testosterone limit of 2.5 nmol/L for biologically male cyclists who want to compete with women.

Around that same time, FINA, the governing body for swimming, barred biological males from competing in women’s events.

World Rugby also has a complete ban on biological males competing in international women’s rugby “because of the size, force- and power-producing advantages conferred by testosterone during puberty and adolescence, and the resultant player welfare risks this creates.”

Earlier this year, World Athletics (WA), the governing body for track and field and other running competitions, implemented a policy that biological males who went through male puberty can no longer compete in women’s events at international competitions. WA also ruled that to compete as a woman, athletes with differences of sexual development (DSD), who have congenital conditions that cause atypical sex development, must have a testosterone level below 2.5 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L) for at least 24 months before an international competition.

By / May 16

On April 6, the Department of Education (ED) released a proposed rule under Title IX anti-discrimination laws to “clarify” the participation of transgender students in school sports. This new rule establishes that federally-funded schools may violate Title IX if they categorically ban transgender students from participating on sports teams consistent with their claimed gender identity, but it also offers some vague and narrow circumstances where banning transgender athletes could be acceptable.

On April 15, the ERLC filed public comments in opposition to the change. ED is obligated to respond to each comment before finalizing the rule.

 What is Title IX?

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits sex-based discrimination in education, stating: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” 

Title IX law is intended to provide equal opportunities for both men and women seeking to participate in educational institutions and extracurricular activities that receive federal funding.

How would this proposed rule change Title IX policies?

The proposed changes from ED would bar schools from implementing categorical bans on the participation of transgender students in sports inconsistent with their biological sex. The rule would force schools to implement policies unfair to athletes competing on teams consistent with their biological sex, placing female athletes at high risk of losing their personal privacy, competitive balance, and scholarship and award opportunities.

The stated intention of this proposed rule is to provide “clarity” for federally-funded schools, coaches, and parents on the participation of transgender students in grade school and high school sports. Under the proposed reinterpretation of Title IX, 

  • “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.” 
  • Any scholastic efforts to restrict participation based on gender identity must establish criteria “substantially related to the achievement of an important educational objective.” 
  • The criteria must also “minimize harms to students whose opportunity to participate on a male or female team consistent with their gender identity would be limited or denied.” 

Little attention is given to any harms that could be placed onto biological female athletes through less fair and safe competition.

Contrary to ED’s statement, this rule fails to provide clarity on this issue and punishes schools who disapprove of Title IX’s ever-expanding definition of gender identity. To satisfy the department’s new criteria, local school districts may need to disregard policies that require disclosure of gender identity, as well as policies that require transgender students to participate on a sex-specific team matched with their biological sex. 

Why is this problematic?

ED’s proposed change would have sweeping effects that would significantly undermine the original intent and purpose of Title IX. By refusing to account for biological, sex-dependent differences, this regulation would legally enshrine inequality in sports, undermining the very law meant to secure gender equality in the first place.

Not only would this regulation work directly against decades of successful efforts to ensure equal athletic opportunity for men and women, but it would also completely blur the distinctions between men and women and their corresponding team sports. It is clearly unfair and demeaning to female athletes for our nation’s policies to proceed as if biological males are the standard by which they must evaluate their athletic performance.

Additionally, the proposed regulation constructs arbitrary criteria that only considers potential harms to transgender students, wrongly excluding deserving female athletes from the equation. The doctrine of the image of God must compel our leaders to protect dignity, rights, and opportunities for all people, including female athletes. This is not an either-or situation: schools can secure privacy and athletic opportunity for female athletes while still seeking to serve and love transgender students. Sadly, this proposed regulation fails to empower schools to achieve fully inclusive solutions that are right for their local community. 

The new interpretation of rules relevant to transgender athletic participation would penalize academic institutions that choose to protect female athletes. Schools under the jurisdiction of Title IX would no longer be able to define sex as a person’s biological sex from birth, but instead would be forced to adopt gender identity as the student’s sex for purposes of Title IX and its implementing regulations. Though the rule does provide some exceptions and circumstances where it could be deemed acceptable to ban transgender athletes, the exceptions are too vague and subjective to provide real guidance and protections to schools and administrators.

As we argued in our comments:

The exceptions articulated by the Department are as vague as they are hollow. The three factors enumerated are broad and highly subjective, open to vast interpretations from school to school. Yet, the Department’s subsequent commentary about the use of these factors renders the exception virtually useless. Any school or institution seeking to ensure that girls are physically protected as well as have equal access to fair athletic competition enshrined in Title IX, will undoubtedly face criticism and massive litigation costs for any exception they employ. It will be untenable for most schools to protect girls. Additionally, students themselves will be bounced around from team to team as school administrators, forced to comply with these untenable regulations and contend with impending lawsuits, do their best to navigate the subjective murkiness of this guidance.

How has the ERLC responded?

The ERLC has submitted public comments expressing these concerns about the proposed rule and urging ED to retract its policy. The ERLC will continue to monitor these changes and advocate for the recognition of God’s good design for biological sex and the flourishing of all our neighbors.

By / Jun 23

Fifty years ago, President Nixon signed into law Title IX Education Amendments of 1972, a landmark policy for women and girls. Title IX states that “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

This important policy was intended to provide equal opportunities for men and women seeking to participate in activities and educational institutions receiving funding from the U.S. government. One of the most notable ways Title IX has benefited thousands of women is their ability to equally participate in sports. Catherine Parks writes, “many young girls now have the hope of competing at a collegiate level with all the benefits Title IX provides. The ability to earn a scholarship and compete at this level can be life changing. Women are more likely to attend college and graduate when offered an athletic scholarship.”

Women’s sports and the transgender movement

The 50th anniversary of Title IX is worth celebrating for all that it has meant for women and girls and their ability to fully and fairly participate in sports. However, in recent years, equal athletic opportunities for biological females have been repeatedly compromised by the participation of transgender athletes in women’s sports.

In 2020, three star female track athletes lodged a high-profile lawsuit targeting their Connecticut conference’s policy allowing transgender athletes to compete in women’s sports. The defendants alleged that two biological males won 15 state high school championships over three years, stripping biological women of crucial advancement and scholarship opportunities. In 2021, a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit, but the athletes are appealing the ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit. 

Transgender atheletes are also challenging the integrity of women’s sports on the collegiate level. In March 2022, University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas won the NCAA 500-meter freestyle championship. Thomas, a biological male, competed on the men’s swimming team for two years before joining the women’s team after undergoing a year of hormonal therapies. Thomas struggled to break out while swimming against men, but the swimmer quickly dominated national competition after switching to compete against biological women. Controversy swirled around Thomas’ status on the women’s team, as multiple female swimmers protested and team parents raised concerns over lost opportunities and championships for their children.  FINA, the international swimming governing body, responded by banning male-to-female transgender swimmers from competition unless the transition occurred before the onset of puberty.

At least 13 states have banned biological males who identify as women from competing in women’s sports. States are beginning to recognize the irony of forcing female athletes to compete against biological males: these policies are explicit reversals of the very Title IX antidiscrimination measures meant to secure equal opportunities for women. Biological males enjoy a natural advantage when competing against women, and proposed redefinitions of Title IX protections discriminate against young women by expecting them to overcome those disadvantages.

Department of Education’s proposed changes

Today, the U.S. Department of Education announced proposed changes to Title IX regulations that would have sweeping effects on the original intent and purpose of Title IX. The department stated that it intends to prohibit discrimination “based on sex stereotypes, sex characteristics, pregnancy or related conditions, sexual orientation, and gender identity.” In short, the department wants to expand the definition of “sex” to include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” (SOGI). This is significant because it would allow for biological men to participate in women’s sports, particularly at a collegiate level, and would penalize institutions that did not expand the definition of sex to include SOGI.

The department’s proposed Title IX regulations will be open for public comment for 60 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register. The ERLC will submit public comments on this proposed rule.

Why does this matter to Christians

It is becoming increasingly clear that issues of gender identity and sexual orientation will continue to be debated in our culture. Given that, Christians are, and will continue to be, confronted with difficult situations in their schools and universities that revolve around transgender athletes. As these challenges arise, Christians need to know how to respond. We uphold the design of our Creator, who chose to endow men and women with equal value, yet distinct physical attributes. In this context, our intentional physical make-up as men and women, boys and girls has implications for the way we perform in athletic competition, and those differences should be acknowledged and valued.

The important protections that Title IX offers girls and women are in jeopardy if additional steps are taken to allow biological men to compete in female athletics. The blurred line in the definition of sex is going to lead to the deterioration of women’s sports all together. Christians need to be firmly grounded in what the Bible  teaches about biological sex and be ready to give an answer to the neighbors, family members, and larger culture around us. As we watch our daughters and sons train and compete, we should rejoice at the beauty of God’s design for creation and seek to teach our children and those that God has put in our path to disciple that every one of us is loved and purposely created to point to the One in whose image we were made. 

How the ERLC is involved

The ERLC is supports the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act. This act would clarify that it is a Title IX violation for schools that receive federal education funds to permit biological males to participate in female sports. We call on Congress to protect women and girls by ensuring they are given a fair opportunity to compete in athletics. 

The ERLC is also strongly opposed to the Equality Act. In addition to being detrimental to the issue of women’s sports participation, “the bill would curtail religious freedom protections, hinder the work of healthcare professionals and faith-based hospitals, undermine civil rights protections for women and girls, and ultimately steamroll the consciences of millions of Americans.”

We will always affirm the biological differences between male and female reflected in God’s creation and uphold the Southern Baptist Convention’s position on gender identity stated in its summary of faith, the Baptist Faith and Message, which says, “Man is the special creation of God, made in His own image. He created them male and female as the crowning work of His creation. The gift of gender is thus part of the goodness of God’s creation.”

ERLC Interns Daniel Hostetter and Cooper Shull contributed to this article.

By / May 11

One of my favorite athletes of all time is Florence Griffith-Joyner (1959–1998). Affectionately known as FloJo, she still holds the women’s world records for both the 100-meter and 200-meter open events. What made Griffith-Joyner so endearing was her combination of God-given speed and irrepressible style. Other female runners pull their hair back in order not to have any additional drag from the air as they run. 

Not FloJo: She sprinted to the front of the pack with long hair blowing in wind created by her own tremendous speed. And her fingernails were even more famous than her hair, with Griffith-Joyner sporting long nails in bright, fun colors. She was so fast and her nails were so long, it was not hard to imagine that she might just take off and fly! On and off the track, she radiated grace. And yet, as the fastest woman in the world, this American legend would be slower than the fastest male high school athletes in the United States. 

Consider these comparisons from Missouri. Florence Griffith-Joyner burned the 100 meters in 10.49 in 1988, a world record now 34 years old. But the Missouri state boys high school 100 meter record is tied between Jon Vaughn (1988) and Maurice Mitchell (2007)—both running at a blazing 10.42.1Missouri State High School Activities Association, “Championship Site Record Book – 100 Meter Dash,” https://www.mshsaa.org/Activities/ChampionshipSiteRecordBook.aspx?activity=19&gender=1 In 1988, Griffith-Joyner also set the women’s world record in 200 meters at 21:34. And yet the fastest six boys in Missouri High School history beat our beloved FloJo’s record time.2Missouri State High School Activities Association, “Championship Site Record Book – 200 Meter Dash,” https://www.mshsaa.org/Activities/ChampionshipSiteRecordBook.aspx?activity=19&gender=1&recordtype=1302&view=all

The differences that can’t be changed 

Why are these young men faster than the women’s world record holder? Because God designed men and women differently, and when we go through puberty, males develop more muscle mass and larger bone structure.3One article says,  “In boys during puberty, sex hormones may have dramatic activating effects for promoting rapid accumulation of muscle mass and the acquisition of muscle strength.” Yang Xu, et al, “Relationships of Sex Hormones With Muscle Mass and Muscle Strength in Male Adolescents at Different Stages of Puberty,” Plos One 16.12 (December 2, 2021): 2. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0260521. Nieves, et al say, “Gender-related differences in bone width are more apparent after puberty.” See Jeri W. Nieves, et al, “Males Have Larger Skeletal Size and Bone Mass Than Females, Despite Comparable Body Size,” Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 20.3 (2005): 529 For example, a man’s leg is about 80% muscle, compared with about 60% muscle in a woman’s leg.4Laura Geggel, “Why Do Men Run Faster Than Women?,” Live Science, May 27, 2017, Why Do Men Run Faster Than Women? | Live Science This means males can run faster than females. 

In light of modern demands for biological males to be allowed to compete with females in the name of trans-inclusivity, it is crucial to keep in mind that biological males who identify as females will have an unfair advantage over biological females. This advantage will continue to accrue to biological males even after taking female hormones. Someone who is born a male will continue to have larger heart size, bigger bone structure, and larger lung capacity after transitioning.

A 2021 report in Sports Medicine said the advantages in muscle mass and strength conferred by male puberty is only minimally reduced when testosterone is suppressed as per current sporting guidelines for transgender athletes.5Emma N. Hilton and Tommy R. Lundberg, “Transgender Women in the Female Category of Sport: Perspectives on Testosterone Suppression and Performance Advantage,” Sports Medicine 51 (2021): 199 – 214. In 2019, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism found that after one year of taking female hormones, male-to-female transgenders did lose about 5% of their muscle volume, but they generally maintained their strength levels.6Anna Wiik, et al, “Muscle Strength, Size, and Composition Following 12 Months of Gender-affirming Treatment in Transgender Individuals” Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 105.3 (March 2020): e805 – e813. 

The injustice toward women

Advocates in favor of allowing males to compete with females often make veiled and confused references to “justice” as a reason for their stance, but such arguments reflect not only a denial of basic differences between males and females but incoherent understandings of justice. The formal principle of justice states, “Treat like cases alike, and different cases differently.” Ronald Nash explained this concept and said, “Injustice always exists when similar people are treated differently or when dissimilars are treated alike.” And this is exactly what happens when biological males are granted leeway to identify as females in athletic competition: Dissimilar individuals—biological males and biological females—are being treated alike,7Nash, Life’s Ultimate Questions, 359. and in so doing one person’s subjective autonomy regarding gender identity is being used in an unjust way to give a competitive advantage. 

I hope there will be many generations of young women inspired by Florence Griffith-Joyner’s amazing accomplishments. I also hope young women catch a sense of FloJo’s joy for life, realizing that life is a race to be run with excellence; our time on Earth is too short to give anything less than our best and to rejoice in the fact God let us be alive. But our culture already places many challenges in front of girls. Hollywood objectifies young women as sexual objects. Vulgar music cheapens sex. A billion-dollar porn industry distorts the entire culture’s view of women. All these things contribute to a sense of anxiety and inadequacy in many girls, feelings which emerge just as they are trying to navigate the difficulties of puberty and adolescence. 

Athletic competition divided into the categories of males and females allows girls to compete on equal footing with other girls, creating a sense of accomplishment separated from the cacophony of confused voices vying for attention. We serve our young women best when we do not place another hurdle on the track by allowing biological males to compete as biological females. 

  • 1
    Missouri State High School Activities Association, “Championship Site Record Book – 100 Meter Dash,” https://www.mshsaa.org/Activities/ChampionshipSiteRecordBook.aspx?activity=19&gender=1
  • 2
    Missouri State High School Activities Association, “Championship Site Record Book – 200 Meter Dash,” https://www.mshsaa.org/Activities/ChampionshipSiteRecordBook.aspx?activity=19&gender=1&recordtype=1302&view=all
  • 3
    One article says,  “In boys during puberty, sex hormones may have dramatic activating effects for promoting rapid accumulation of muscle mass and the acquisition of muscle strength.” Yang Xu, et al, “Relationships of Sex Hormones With Muscle Mass and Muscle Strength in Male Adolescents at Different Stages of Puberty,” Plos One 16.12 (December 2, 2021): 2. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0260521. Nieves, et al say, “Gender-related differences in bone width are more apparent after puberty.” See Jeri W. Nieves, et al, “Males Have Larger Skeletal Size and Bone Mass Than Females, Despite Comparable Body Size,” Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 20.3 (2005): 529
  • 4
    Laura Geggel, “Why Do Men Run Faster Than Women?,” Live Science, May 27, 2017, Why Do Men Run Faster Than Women? | Live Science
  • 5
    Emma N. Hilton and Tommy R. Lundberg, “Transgender Women in the Female Category of Sport: Perspectives on Testosterone Suppression and Performance Advantage,” Sports Medicine 51 (2021): 199 – 214.
  • 6
    Anna Wiik, et al, “Muscle Strength, Size, and Composition Following 12 Months of Gender-affirming Treatment in Transgender Individuals” Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 105.3 (March 2020): e805 – e813.
  • 7
    Nash, Life’s Ultimate Questions, 359.
By / Feb 26

As a husband, pastor, and the father of eight children, five of whom are daughters, there are many reasons I am deeply troubled by H.R. 5, legislation ironically named the Equality Act. In this article, I want to focus on my concerns as a girl dad who loves sports.  

As a girl dad, I am concerned about the Equality Act because it will undermine female equality by negating the biological reality of sex. Erasing biological sex as a legal category will negatively affect all of us, but it will disproportionately harm women.

Women and Title IX

Under H.R. 5, vital laws protecting women from discrimination on the basis of “sex” would be upended. A person’s sex would no longer be a matter of biology, but of one’s internal sense of “gender identity.” Title IX is a portion of the United States Education Amendments of 1972, designed to ensure equal opportunities in programs and activities for biological females. The amendment is probably best known for its impact on high school and college athletics. Title IX reads,

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.

Of course, when Title IX was adopted, “sex” merely indicated whether a person was biologically male or female. If the legal definition of “sex” is expanded to include non-verifiable gender identities, which H.R. would do, then what is the purpose of Title IX? How can you have an anti-discrimination law in place to protect women if there is no objective way to determine who is male and female? Any attempt to enforce such regulations would be nonsensical.

Impossible standards

In athletics, a refusal to account for biological, sex-dependent differences will legally enshrine inequality in sports. In addition to being unfair, it is insulting and demeaning to females when we proceed as if biological males are the standard by which they ought to evaluate themselves. Acknowledging biological differences in athletic competition is as necessary as acknowledging differences in age.

This is not hyperbole. 

Female athletes nationwide are already experiencing the unjust effects of our cultural gender chaos. In Texas, a 17-year-old female student transitioning to male and undergoing testosterone treatments won the girl’s state championship in wrestling. Performance-enhancing drugs are banned in most sports competitions but not if allowing them accommodates the student to “transition.” In Connecticut, biological males competing as females combined to win 15 girls state outdoor or indoor championship races. And how should we respond if a male who self-identifies as a female seriously injures a female while wrestling? It is not inconceivable that such issues portend the end of public school athletics.

Even tennis champion, long-time gay rights activist, and open lesbian Martina Navratilova responded with shock and outrage when she heard about biological transgender males competing against females. She penned a February 2019 article titled, “The rules on trans athletes reward cheats and punish the innocent.”

Navratilova asserted, “It’s insane and it’s cheating. I am happy to address a transgender woman in whatever form she prefers, but I would not be happy to compete against her. It would not be fair.” She continued, “To put the argument at its most basic: a man can decide to be female, take hormones if required by whatever sporting organization is concerned, win everything in sight and perhaps earn a small fortune, and then reverse his decision and go back to making babies if he so desires.” Of course, she was pilloried for her common sense comments and walked them back a bit.

Level playing field

My oldest daughter has enough talent as a tennis player, competing against other girls, to earn an athletic college scholarship to an excellent school. Would that be the case if she had to compete against biological males? No. Not even close. 

Let’s be honest; legislation like the Equality Act is not about protecting people who have been unfairly excluded from participation in sports. It is about politicizing everything in our culture, including sports, in service of the sexual revolution. 

I have no plans to turn my back on the reality of biological science. Nor to accept the new sexual orthodoxy. Still, I am gutted when I think about the implications of this legislative assault on my five daughters. There are far worse ramifications of H.R. 5 than the end of female sports, but as a dad who fiercely loves his daughters and has spent a lifetime enjoying sports, I grieve the thought of that loss in particular. 

The truth is found on the opening page of Scripture. “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). I cannot wait until the weather warms, to watch my daughters compete against other girls on a tennis court. The beauty of competition taking place on a level playing field brings me great joy. I plan to enjoy it as long as I can.