U.S. Women’s Swimming champion advocates for Women’s Rights Bill

Published: Mar. 2, 2023 at 7:18 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - An NCAA swimmer, who competed against a transgender woman, is on a crusade for each state to adopt a Women’s Bill of Rights.

If you have young daughters participating in sports, Riley Gaines wants them only competing against other girls born female.

The twelve-time NCAA All American swimmer was in the capital city to advocate for a Women’s Right’s Bill. Thursday, the 22-year-old spoke to at the Mississippi Center for Public Policy luncheon promoting the bill that would define what a woman is.

Nearly a year ago, she lost the NCAA Division 1 swimming championship to transgender athlete Lia Thomas.

“When I finally got there we were competing against a male who was 6′4″, still fully intact with male genitalia which we had to share a changing space,” said Gaines. “And this was a swimmer when swimming three years on the men’s side at U Penn was ranking 462 at best.”

Thomas’ win was criticized by some competitors.

In response, Thomas said, “Trans women are a very small minority of all athletes. Trans women competing in women’s sports does not threaten women’s sports as a whole.”

The University of Pennsylvania swimmer’s participation in the sport prompted legislation across the country to prohibit transgender people from competing in women’s athletics. Governor Tate Reeves just signed House Bill 1125 into law, banning gender affirming care for transgender young people.

“I don’t want to erase women as a category, which seems to be a trend for today,” added Gaines.

The Nashville native postponed dental school to travel the country to garner support for the Women’s Right’s Bill.

Friday night, Gaines flew to Washington D.C. to participate in a panel and speak with members of Congress about the proposed legislation.

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