Penn. lawmakers defend women's sports in backyard of 'Lia'

Penn. lawmakers defend women's sports in backyard of 'Lia'

Pennsylvania lawmakers are considering a bill that defends women's sports from male athletes such as Will Thomas, a UPenn swimmer who identifies as a female and is on the women's swim team.

Penn. lawmakers defend women's sports in backyard of 'Lia'

The Pennsylvania House has passed the Fairness in Women's Sports Act which now goes to the state Senate for consideration.

House Bill 972 demands sports are separated by biological sex in grades K-12 and in college sports.

“So what it ends up doing,” says Alexis Sneller, of Pennsylvania Family Council, “is preserving fairness in women's sports and defending opportunities that women have really fought for decades to get through Title IX.”

If the measure passes the Senate, which is likely, it will go the desk of Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, who has said he opposes the measure.

That likely veto is predictable from a Democrat these days but it would also come after Will Thomas, a University of Pennsylvania swimmer, has solely created a nationwide controversy.

Thomas, a college senior, identifies as a female named “Lia” and has joined the UPenn women’s team after swimming as a male swimmer for three years. The biologically male has now set numerous swim records, previously set by female athletes, that will likely never be broken.

According to Sneller, the state Senate convenes in May to start considering legislation. So that gives Pennsylvanians time to contact their state senators and urge them to support the measure, she says.