U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis says she support bill the Wyoming Legislature passed in its recent session that prevent biological males from participating in girls’ sports and women from getting abortions in most scenarios.
The Wyoming Republican said during a Thursday press call she supports restricting girls and women sports “to people who do not have a Y chromosome.”
“There are physiological advantages that people who are born male have that people who are born female do not,” she said.
Senate File 133 was passed during the 2023 legislative session, banning biological males from participating in girls’ school sports in grades seven through 12.
Lummis said there are about 80 high school boys who can outrun the fastest woman on record, but did not cite where she got this information.
“When people transition, they retain those physiological advantages,” she said.
But Lummis also said transgender people should have the opportunity to participate in sports within their own category for trans people.
“I think that creates a more level playing field,” she said.
Lummis surprised many in Wyoming when she supported legislation in late 2022 codifying same-sex marriage into federal law.
Lummis also said she supports states retaining rights to determine their laws when it comes to abortion and how to react to the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade last June.
There were two laws passed during the 2023 Legislature restricting abortion access in the state.
House Bill 152 prohibits all abortions except cases of rape, incest or medical emergency. Senate File 109 makes Wyoming the first state to explicitly ban pills for abortions.
On Wednesday, a District Court judge in Jackson blocked HB 152 as it faces a legal challenge, keeping abortions legal in Wyoming for now.
When specifically asked if she supports HB 152, Lummis responded, “I am pro-life, yes.”
She did not comment specifically on SF 109.
Lummis tiptoed around recent comments made by U.S. Rep. Harriet Hageman, R-Wyoming, publicly criticizing state House Speaker Rep. Albert Sommers, R-Pinedale, for keeping certain bills in his drawer.
The first-term U.S. senator shared her perspective based on the 14 years she served in the Wyoming Legislature.
“Personally, when our congressional delegation would weigh in from Washington (D.C.) on the work of the Wyoming Legislature at the time, it was not terribly welcomed,” she said with a laugh, “unless they were weighing in on an issue that had a clear federal-state nexus.
“Our delegation in Washington, when I was a state legislator, rarely weighed in. We gave each other great deference.”
Lummis clarified this is simply her personal opinion and not a comment on how other delegation members conduct themselves.
She said some of the bills Sommers “pocket-vetoed” would “have been fun to see debated” because “they’re relevant and in the news.”
But she also said Sommers had a rational basis for his actions, a few he defended with the argument of wanting to protect local control. Lummis said it’s “irrelevant” whether she would have made this same decision.
“It takes a long time to rise to those positions within the Wyoming Legislature and the experience one takes with them when they became speaker of the House or the president of the Senate, I believe deserves real deference,” she said.
2024 Presidential Thoughts
Hageman also has openly endorsed former President Donald Trump for president in 2024.
Although Lummis didn’t speak negatively against Trump during the call, she referred to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as her “dear friend.”
DeSantis, who Lummis served with in the U.S. House from 2013-2017, is widely expected to run against Trump for the Republican nomination for president in 2024.
Lummis serves with South Carolina Republican Sen. Tim Scott, who also is eyeing a 2024 presidential run.
“My ranking Republican chairman on the banking committee (Scott) and my dear old friend from the House are both mulling presidential runs,” Lummis said. “I will likely be staying neutral in the primary and will end up supporting whoever emerges from the Republican primary.”