U.S. Bishops Support Ban on Boys in Female Athletics

Canadian cyclist Rachel McKinnon poses for a photograph before competing against the USA's

Leaders of the U.S. Bishops’ Conference (USCCB) have thrown their moral weight behind legislation that would ban male students from participating in women’s sports.

In a letter dated October 27, Oakland Bishop Michael C. Barber, chairman of the Bishops’ Committee on Catholic Education, and Tulsa Bishop David A. Konderla, chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, urge the passage of the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act of 2020.

The bill, sponsored by Senator Kelly Loeffler and Representative Greg Steube, would make it a violation for “a recipient of Federal funds who operates, sponsors, or facilitates athletic programs or activities to permit a person whose sex is male to participate in an athletic program or activity that is designated for women or girls.”

The legislation further clarifies that for these purposes, “sex shall be recognized based solely on a person’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth.”

The bishops reject the progressive mantra that “trans women are women,” turning instead to the clear voice of science that a person’s sex is a fixed biological reality even when that person experiences psychological gender dysphoria.

“True education aims at the formation of the human person as a unity of body, soul, and spirit,” the bishops note. “As Pope Francis has said, ‘The Church is interested in sport because the person is at her heart, the whole person, and she recognizes that sports activity affects the formation, relations, and spirituality of a person.’”

“In education and in sports, we must seek to avoid anything that debases human dignity, including rejection of a person’s body or unequal treatment between men and women,” they insist.

“Youth who experience gender identity discordance should be assured the right to participate in, or try-out for, student athletics on the same terms as any of their peers, in co-educational activities or, where sexes are separated, in accord with their given sex,” the bishops state. “Harassment or unjust discrimination against them in this regard is unequivocally immoral.”

The way to properly address gender dysphoria is by helping young people “to develop a genuine peace with their mind and body, rather than facilitating drastic ‘transitions’ in pursuit of an identity fully independent of their physical body,” they declare.

Moreover, taking an athletic opportunity away from a female by admitting biological males into female-designated athletic programs “is a loss for basic fairness and the spirit of Title IX,” they assert.

“We can do better by all students, and should continue to uphold the progress made with Title IX in promoting the opportunities for women and girls,” they declare.


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