Hageman's Bill To Ban Trans Women In Olympics Clears Committee

Despite emotional attacks from detractors, a bill carried by Harriet Hageman to ban transgender women from competing in Olympics and other amateur spots cleared the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday.

Clair McFarland

March 22, 20243 min read

U.S. Rep. Harriet Hageman, R-Wyoming, speaks during a March 21, 2024, hearing in the House Judiciary Committee about transgender women participating in sports.
U.S. Rep. Harriet Hageman, R-Wyoming, speaks during a March 21, 2024, hearing in the House Judiciary Committee about transgender women participating in sports. (House Judiciary Committee via YouTube)

A proposed federal law aimed at keeping males out of women’s Olympics and other amateur sports cleared its committee hearing Thursday, and now heads to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Wyoming’s lone Rep. Harriet Hageman, a Republican, carried House Resolution 7187 through the Judiciary Committee hearing as co-sponsor, amid charged and emotional attacks from detractors.

It defines males and females based on the gametes their bodies are fashioned to produce and would require national governing bodies of amateur sports to ban males from competing in female sporting events.

Hageman hopes the bill can pass both the House and Senate before the 2024 Summer Olympic Games begin in July, she told Cowboy State Daily in a Friday interview.

“Throughout history we’ve looked at Olympics as really the brass ring for people to compete at the highest level in the world,” she said Friday. “And we’re going to let men go in and take away the honors and the opportunities from girls? It’s bizarre we’re at this point in time where anybody would even believe that’s appropriate.”

Letting males compete in female sports risks injury, lost opportunities for females, degradation and loss of locker-room privacy, Hageman argued Thursday in the committee hearing.

“Ensuring equal rights for women has been a long and hard-fought battle,” she said, adding in her Friday interview that she was an early beneficiary of the federal Title IX, which gave females equal opportunities to compete in school sports and activities.

Now the act is being distorted to women's detriment, she added.

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‘This Is Not A Thing’

But critics of the bill said it seeks to ban a rare scenario; it addresses inflated fears, marginalizes transgender people, and many women and sporting organizations don’t want its intervention.

U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-California, said a transgender sports takeover is “not a thing.”

“We have things happening in our communities that are a thing,” he said. “Kids getting mowed down by assault rifles at their schools — that’s a thing.”

Swalwell said women losing access to in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and abortions following the overturn of Roe v. Wade are also more pressing issues.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Washington, was even less subtle, calling the bill a hateful blanket ban cloaked in the veneer of women’s rights. She said she is mother to a transgender person.

A few Democratic delegates said the bill will be difficult to enforce and prompt invasive inspections.

“It’s kind of creepy that you’re setting up an on-demand gender check,” said Swalwell, addressing Hageman.

It’s DNA

Hageman countered in her Friday interview, saying a sex check could be as non-invasive as obtaining a cheek swab.

It’s when sporting organizations allow transgender people to compete at different stages in their transition that the checks become more invasive, she said.

She referenced the new policy of the USA Boxing Association, which allows male competition against women for males that have had genital surgery and hormonal treatment.

“They’re going to have to do physical exams to determine whether the man who now claims to be a woman has actually had his genitals cut off,” said Hageman of the more trans-inclusive policy.

Hageman said her bill, rather, would be less invasive in comparison, and people could defer to birth certificates, cheek swabs and generally “common sense.”

Clair McFarland can be reached at Clair@CowboyStateDaily.com.

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Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter