EXCLUSIVE: Speaker Johnson, Advocates to Hold DC Panel on Protecting Women’s Sports

EXCLUSIVE: Speaker Johnson, Advocates to Hold DC Panel on Protecting Women's Sports

FIRST IN THE DAILY SIGNAL—Speaker of the House Mike Johnson plans to hold an event Wednesday in honor of the 52nd anniversary of Title IX on protecting women’s sports and spaces.

The Louisiana Republican will lead a panel discussion with NCAA swimmer Riley Gaines, former U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, the Independent Women’s Forum’s Heather Higgins, and North Carolina Republican Rep. Virginia Foxx, who is chairwoman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee.

The event will take place on Wednesday afternoon on Capitol Hill, The Daily Signal has learned.

Title IX was originally enacted in 1972 to protect women and girls by prohibiting sex-based discrimination in most facets of education, including sports, in programs that receive federal funding.

“While the Biden administration has pushed progressive gender ideology to include biological men in women’s sports under Title IX, conservatives in the House are fighting to protect women’s right to compete,” Johnson told The Daily Signal.

“We will not stand by and tolerate the erosion of safe, fair, and equal competition in women’s sports,” he added. “I look forward to hosting this important conversation with women who have led on this issue to protect women and girls.”

The then-newly elected U.S. Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., delivers remarks with fellow Republicans on the East Front steps of the House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol on Oct. 25, 2023. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The speaker’s panel is one of several events in Washington this week pushing for fairness in women’s sports. On Tuesday, Independent Women’s Forum will hold a rally at The Bullpen sports bar for the organization’s Our Bodies, Our Sports “Take Back Title IX” Summer 2024 Bus Tour, where women’s advocates, including current and former athletes and coaches, will speak.

Gaines, who is a 12-time All-American NCAA swimmer, former USA champion gymnast Jennifer Sey, and Olympic swimming champion and Emmy award-winning sports broadcaster Donna de Varona are among the speakers.

The event will also feature music by country artist Alexis Wilkins.

Last week, vandals attacked the Independent Women’s Forum “Take Back Title IX” bus (which features the faces of prominent women athletes like Gaines and swimmer Paula Scanlan) during the night and defaced the bus with pro-transgender slogans. The vandalism took place after an Our Bodies, Our Sports rally in North Carolina, the group said in a release.

The Biden administration on April 19 released its rewrite of Title IX, claiming that the highly controversial changes advance “Title IX’s promise of ensuring that no person experiences sex discrimination, including sex-based harassment or sexual violence, in federally funded education.”

The Biden rewrite of the 50-year-old civil rights law redefines sex to include gender identity and sexual orientation, thereby allowing men in girls’ and women’s restrooms, locker rooms, housing accommodations, and educational programs. It also opens the door for men to play on girls’ and women’s sports teams and endangers educational institutions that receive federal funding but choose to protect women’s spaces.

In May, former President Donald Trump vowed to end Biden’s rewrite of Title IX “on Day One” if he should win the presidential election in November.

“We’re going to end it on Day One,” the former president promised during an interview with the conservative Philadelphia-based radio show “Kayal and Company.”

“Don’t forget,” he said, “that was done as an order from the president. That came down as an executive order. And we’re going to change it. On Day One, it’s going to be changed.”

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Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.