Paul asked Cardona if he would continue to enforce that letter, if confirmed as Education Secretary. Cardona would not directly answer if he would enforce the letter, but said he would uphold “the civil rights of all students, and that includes activities they may engage in, in high school or in athletics.”.
Paul repeatedly followed up with questions on the topic, asking Cardona if he was “bothered” by biological males dominating at high school girls’ athletic events, and asking if he thought that situation “fair.”
“The girls are being pushed out,” Paul said, citing the case of Connecticut where two male sprinters identifying as transgender females won 15 state championship titles after the state’s athletics policy changed in 2017.
“They [female athletes] don’t make the finals in the state meets, they don’t get college scholarships--that it’s really detrimental to girls sports,” Paul pressed Cardona.
Cardona is currently Connecticut’s commissioner of education. Several Connecticut female track athletes have since sued over the state high school athletic association’s policy.
Cardona said he believes it “is the legal responsibility of schools to provide opportunities for students to participate in activities, and this includes students who are transgender.” He repeated that phrase nearly verbatim numerous times throughout the hearing.
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Other senators, including Sens. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), supported Paul’s line of questioning about athletes identifying as transgender.
“I just don’t think it’s American that a genotypical male--a person with a Y chromosome--is competing against girls,” said Marshall.
He added that “sports taught me (when) there was a level playing field, that we all have equal opportunity.”