Former NCAA swimmer Riley Gaines called progressive Rep. Summer Lee, D-Pa., a "misogynist" after the lawmaker condemned the activist's testimony as "transphobic" and asked that it be stricken from the record during a House hearing.
Gaines, a vocal supporter of women's sports, was among four witnesses who appeared Tuesday before the House Oversight subcommittee on Health Care and Financial Services.
The hearing focused on the Biden administration’s proposed rule changes to Title IX to outlaw banning transgender students from participating on teams consistent with their gender identity.
Lee, a member of the House's progressive "Squad," accused Gaines and other witnesses of being "transphobic" during her opening remarks.
"It's disappointing to me that although the title of this hearing [The Importance of Protecting Female Athletics and Title IX] implies a much-needed discussion, we're likely going to be forced to listen to transphobic bigotry," Lee said.
"Because actually protecting female athletes and Title IX is important. Participating in sports provides so many benefits to our young people."
Gaines used her opening comments to respond to Lee.
"Of course, there is a place for everyone, regardless of gender identity, regardless of sexual orientation, regardless of race or what sports you play. There’s a place for everyone to play sports in this country," Gaines said.
"But unsafe, unfair, and discriminatory practices towards women must stop. Inclusion cannot be prioritized over safety and fairness, and ranking member Lee, if my testimony makes me transphobic, then I believe your opening monologue makes you a misogynist."
Lee interrupted Gaines at the start of the activist's statement, demanding that Chairwoman Lisa McClain, R-Mich., strike Gaines' remarks from the record.
Lee's point of order was withdrawn after a brief discussion, and the hearing continued.
Gaines later posted a comment on X, formerly known as Twitter, with video from the hearing.
"Order of events:
-Lee says my stance is transphobic bigotry
-I respond by saying if I'm a transphobe, Lee is a misogynist
-Lee moves to have my words removed from record
-Her move is withdrawn so technically she's still a misogynist,” Gaines wrote.
“They can dish it out, but they cant take it."
Other witnesses at the hearing included Heritage Foundation senior legal fellow Sarah Parshall Perry, former Oberlin College head women's lacrosse coach Kim Russell, and National Women’s Law Center President and CEO Fatima Goss Graves.
Lee’s opening statement followed that by McClain.
"Quite simply, men do not belong in women’s sports," McClain said. "That this needs to be said out loud is really kind of a sad reflection of where the other side is on this issue. There should be no debate about this."
Charlie McCarthy ✉
Charlie McCarthy, a writer/editor at Newsmax, has nearly 40 years of experience covering news, sports, and politics.
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