Riley Gaines Urges Congress to Pass Bill Defining ‘Woman’

Riley Gaines, May 17, 2023
Ashley Oliver/Breitbart News

Riley Gaines, a former top college athlete, called on Congress on Wednesday to pass the “Women’s Bill of Rights,” which would clarify that the term “woman” is based on biology rather than personal identity when it appears in federal law.

The bill, led by Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) and cosponsored by about two dozen other Republicans, would codify the meanings of several of these sex-based terms, including “sex,” “woman,” “man,” “girl,” “boy,” “mother,” and “father.”

“This is crucial to ensure that women, we’re entitled to our privacy and our safety and our fairness and our equal opportunity,” Gaines said, adding, “I’m speaking for so much more than just myself.”

Riley Gaines stands with a group of Republican lawmakers at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, May 17, 2023. (Breitbart News)

Gaines, a decorated swimmer who now serves as an Independent Women’s Voice spokeswoman, gained national attention last year after tying down to the hundredth of a second with Lia Thomas, a man, in an NCAA women’s national swimming championship event.

Recalling the pivotal moment, when, as Gaines describes it, the NCAA chose to give its fifth-place trophy to Thomas over her and mail Gaines her trophy later, Gaines said, “What mattered to the left was protecting the feelings of the male at the expense of our own.”

The Women’s Bill of Rights also highlights the well-documented differences in body composition between women and men and states that there are “important reasons to distinguish between the sexes with respect to athletics, prisons, domestic violence shelters, restrooms, and other areas.”

Lamenting the “silencing” that she says women have been subjected to, Gaines said, “It’s 2023. We have the right to vote as women. We can own property, but we have to plead and beg for privacy in our locker rooms so we’re not violated, and when you do plead and beg, you’re called a bigot. You’re called transphobic for wanting safety.”

She continued, “Today there is no law that really defines sex-based terms like woman and like female, and as we’ve mentioned, until recently, no one would have thought these terms would ever need clarification, but as we’ve seen lately, unelected bureaucrats and judges and officials and administrators have altered the legal meaning of these sex-based terms to interpret it as they want. … The public knows what a woman is, and it’s time that our laws did too.”

Also present at the event was Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL), who is expecting a baby in August, making her one of only a handful of women to ever give birth while serving in Congress.

Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL) speaks on women’s rights legislation at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, May 17, 2023. (Breitbart News)

Luna, one of the bill’s cosponsors, emphasized occurrences like pregnancy that are unique to women.

“[Men] can’t have children. As you guys know, I’m pregnant right now, and if anyone wants to debate that I’d be happy to have the conversation with them about how it works, but they cannot have periods, and they cannot do what we can do,” Luna said. “Biologically they’re simply different.”

She added, “To be clear, this is not anti-trans. This is simply standing up for women.”

Write to Ashley Oliver at Follow her on Twitter at @asholiver.


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