Women’s Law Group Opposes Female Athletes


The National “Women’s” Law Center (NWLC) has petitioned a federal court in Georgia to intervene as a defendant in the high-profile case of 16 college female athletes against the National Collegiate Athletic Association, Gaines, et al. v. NCAA, et al

In what can be seen as a direct challenge to NCAA President Charlie Baker’s legal strategy, the NWLC claimed in a May 6 filing that they are uniquely positioned to defend the inclusion of trans-identifying males like Lia Thomas in women’s college sports: 

Whereas none of the existing parties to this case can adequately defend the claims at issue in this suit, NWLC can.

By petitioning the court to oppose female athletes, the NWLC displays what some view as a significant hypocrisy. The mantra “Transwomen are Women” is presented as the group supports males desiring to identify as females. 

Founded during the women’s rights movement of the 1970s, the NWLC has long been a major player in advocating for women’s rights. However, in the 21st century, the NWLC has been criticized for aligning with gender ideology, prioritizing “identity” protections over sex-based rights.

Currently, the NWLC is pushing for legal rights for males who identify as women, even if it means compromising the safety and privacy of sex-separated spaces like women’s locker rooms, domestic violence shelters, and prisons. They argue for the inclusion of trans athletes, potentially allowing mediocre male athletes to dominate women’s sports by simply identifying as female.  

In response to the notion that a man can become a woman, Riley Gaines, the University of Kentucky All-American swimmer and lead plaintiff in the case against the NCAA, humorously retorted, “Hot Dogs are Dogs.”

This isn’t the first time the NWLC has involved itself in the debate over female sports. During a congressional hearing on Title IX and female athletics, NWLC President Fatima Goss Graves suggested that female athletes should learn to “lose gracefully” to trans competitors. According to the NWLC, it’s acceptable for a male to compete in women’s sports as a transgender athlete and claim victories.

Such a stance is seen by many as an affront to young female athletes who train rigorously to excel in their sport. These athletes have no issue losing gracefully to other girls in their respective sports.

Title IX was designed to provide equal sporting opportunities for female student-athletes, acknowledging the persistent physiological differences between the sexes. These distinctions start from early fetal development and cannot be negated by altering appearances, taking puberty blockers, or cross-sex hormones to reduce testosterone levels.

Nevertheless, the NWLC aligns with an ideology that denies these fundamental truths. By seeking to intervene in this significant lawsuit, they argue in favor of Lia Thomas’ right to compete and use female facilities despite having competed for three years on the men’s team at the University of Pennsylvania as Will Thomas and later winning an NCAA national championship in women’s swimming.

The NCAA appears to rely on a “women’s” trans-activist organization to avoid a potentially decisive loss. The NWLC provides the perfect shield for denying sex-based rights to women. With such a group backing the NCAA, the case for discrimination appears less clear-cut.

Many American voters view the inclusion of trans-identifying men in women’s sports as problematic. Fathers of daughters recognize that it’s unfair for their daughters to compete against stronger male athletes or to face male nudity in locker rooms.

Supporters like Megan Rapinoe, Sue Bird, and Dawn Staley also bolster the NCAA’s stance. These high-profile figures advocate for the inclusion of trans athletes in women’s sports despite potential issues of fairness and safety. For instance, the consequences of having a trans-identifying male on a women’s elite team could be significant.

The future of women’s sports in the NCAA is at stake in this critical lawsuit brought by accomplished female athletes. With the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) revising its policy to protect women’s sports, the NCAA is under pressure. It will require more than a controversial legal organization and prominent advocates to uphold its current policy and address the concerns of female college athletes.   

Doreen Denny
Doreen Denny
Contributor. Doreen Denny is Senior Director of Government Relations for Concerned Women for America, the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization.

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