California gubernatorial candidate Caitlyn Jenner has come out against male-to-female transgender athletes competing against girls in sports, saying it “just isn’t fair.”
Ms. Jenner, who is seeking to supplant California Gov. Gavin Newsom if he is recalled the anticipated special election, made her comments Saturday in an impromptu interview with a TMZ reporter who confronted her outside her car in a parking lot.
“This is a question of fairness,” Ms. Jenner said. “That’s why I oppose biological boys who are trans competing in girls’ sports in school. It just isn’t fair. And we have to protect girls’ sports in our schools.”
Of course, Ms. Jenner knows a thing or two about both transgender issues and elite athletic competition: Before her transition from male to female, she was “world’s greatest athlete” Bruce Jenner, who won the gold medal in the 1976 Olympic decathlon in Montreal.
Ms. Jenner, 71, announced last week her intention to run as a Republican in the recall election, which is on track to be held in the fall and has drawn several other high-profile GOP candidates, including former gubernatorial candidate John Cox and former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer.
Ms. Jenner’s position drew a backlash from LGBTQ advocates, including Human Rights Campaign spokesperson Charlotte Clymer, who tweeted that “Caitlyn Jenner is anti-trans.”
“She doesn’t understand the science, and she is pandering to the ignorance of anti-trans people. I have absolutely no problem saying Caitlyn Jenner supports and directly benefits from transphobia,” said Ms. Clymer.
Six states have so far approved legislation barring transgender athletes from competing in female sports in the last two legislative sessions. The first law signed in Idaho was stayed by a court last year pending the outcome of a legal battle.
Other high-profile athletes who have spoken out against biological males competing in female sports include Martina Navratilova and Nancy Lopez, while Billie Jean King, Megan Rapinoe and Candace Parker signed onto a legal brief challenging the Idaho law.
So far this year governors in Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee and West Virginia have signed legislation this year requiring scholastic athletes to compete based on their biological sex at birth.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said during a Fox News town hall Thursday that he would sign a similar bill, which would bring the total number of states to seven.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said she would also sign such legislation if it reached her desk.
“I’m going to do what’s right for my state, I’m going to do what’s right for girls,” said Ms. Reynolds at the town hall. “I’m the mom of three daughters and the grandmother of three granddaughters who compete, and it’s the right thing to do. They should have the same opportunities.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said that the University Interscholastic League in Texas already has rules in place requiring student-athletes to compete based on their biological sex.
“But the Texas Legislature is working on a bill to codify that, which I will sign,” said Mr. Abbott.
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