The Biden administration proposed new regulations Thursday, which would sweep gender identity into the law’s protections, “strengthen[ing] protections for LGBTQIA+ students who face discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity,” according to the Department of Education.
Riley Gaines, a Kentucky swimmer, who tied transgender swimmer Lia Thomas for fifth place at the NCAA championships, told Fox News Digital Biden’s new proposed rules are a “complete 180 for the worst.”
“Rewriting Title IX and redefining what sex is, is taking away everything that sex has stood for the past 50 years, and everything that women have fought so hard to get, like equity and fairness, and equal opportunities,” she said. “This destroys that and the integrity of woman’s sports will be completely lost and a thing of the past.”
Chelsea Mitchell, a former high school athlete who lost four state championships and two all-New England awards to biologically male competitors, said at an Our Bodies, Our Sports rally the issue is about “every young woman who dreams about competing.”
“We should have the opportunity to excel and chase our dreams, and this can only happen if we can compete on a level playing field,” she said, noting that on the 50th anniversary of Title IX, women are protesting because they do not know if the Title IX protections will last “another 50 years.”
Mitchell’s mother, Christy Mitchell, said at the rally it was “hard to find the right words” to comfort Chelsea when she repeatedly lost to biologically male competitors.
“My hope is that my daughters won’t have to explain to their daughters why winning is impossible,” Christy continued.
Former presidential candidate and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard said at the rally, “It is the height of hypocrisy that as we stand here today, there are those who claim to be feminists that claim to be champions for woman’s rights, who are at the very same time, simultaneously denying that we exist, denying the fact that there is a woman that is biologically distinct from a man.”
Gabbard added that Biden’s actions “are seeking to erase the entire female sex, and reject the objective reality that there are biological and physiological differences between men and women. This is the height of disrespect, offense, and what at its core, is a hatred for women.”
Outside the rally, which was organized on the 50th anniversary of Title IX, protesters waving transgender flags blew whistles and banged on pots and pans in an attempt to drown out the speakers.
Former Connecticut high school track athlete Selina Soule, in a meeting with Rep. Greg Steube, R-Fla., Wednesday, said she was forced to compete against biological males all four years of high school, and lost “every single time without fail in the 100-meter dash.”
“Our goal with this is to ensure that no other little girl has to experience the pain and heartbreak that we felt,” she added. “It’s demoralizing going to these races and knowing that no matter what you do, you are going to lose. That all the hours you spent in practice are essentially for nothing.”
Gaines said her advice to young female athletes who may be forced to compete against biological males is to “stick at it, use your voice.”
“If it’s something you feel strongly about, use your voice, it matters, this is something that needs to be dealt with, with volume, with some weight,” she added. “Definitely the more voices, the better, it’s important in exposing who the silent majority is, which is the people who understand that this is wrong and can use common sense rather than just define sides.”
Title IX, which was passed into law in 1972, prohibited sex-based discrimination in schools that receive federal funding. It stated that “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
House Republicans introduced legislation in 2021 which would ban individuals assigned male at birth from participating in women’s sports. In April, GOP lawmakers signed a petition to compel the House to vote on the bill.
Fox News’ Hannah Grossman contributed to this report.