Before Judiciary Committee, Miss. Senator Highlights Harmful Effects of Pending ‘Equality Act’

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U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today provided testimony on the harmful effects on girls and women that would result from provisions of the Equality Act (HR.5), a House-passed measure that would significantly alter how the United States addresses gender identity.

In testimony at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday, Hyde-Smith focused her comments on the effect the legislation would have on women’s athletics and progress made by women since the passage of Title IX in 1972.

“Unfortunately, the Equality Act would undermine that progress, opening positions on women’s teams to biological men – not just transgender athletes who have blocked the onset of male puberty and are living as women, but any male who simply says he identifies as female, whether transgender or not,” Hyde-Smith told the committee.

“This is the problem created by the Act when it substitutes the vague and open-ended term ‘gender identity’ for the word ‘sex.’  Gender identity can mean almost anything and, therefore, it becomes the exception that swallows the rule,” she said.  “Allowing male-bodied athletes to compete against females in sports like basketball would totally undermine girls’ sports.”

The Equality Act would amend federal law to include sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity among the prohibited categories of discrimination.

The bill would dramatically expand coverage of the law to include public accommodations and facilities, education, federal funding, employment, housing, credit, and the jury system.  Further, the definition of public accommodations is expanded to include places or establishments that provide exhibitions, recreation, exercise, amusement, gatherings, or displays; goods, services, or programs; and transportation services.

Among other things, the Equality Act would require access to a shared facility, including restrooms, locker rooms, and dressing rooms, that is in accordance with the individual’s gender identity.

“God loves every one of us.  And every one of us are as His creation, and we should all be treated with kindness, respect and dignity,” Hyde-Smith said.  “But ultimately, by pretending biological females and transwomen are the same for all purposes—which the Equality Act would do—we will move girls and women backward rather than forward.”

Hyde-Smith also cited the recent enactment of the Mississippi Fairness Act, a state law requiring athletes to compete in the division of their biological sex at birth.  She also noted that she is an original cosponsor of the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act (S.251).  The bill addresses compliance with Title IX provisions dealing with athletics to ensure gender is “recognized based solely on a person’s reproductive biology and genetics at birth.”

Read Hyde-Smith’s full statement here.

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Release from Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith.