Testimonies can be found HERE once the hearing begins.

COLUMBUS, O.H. – Today, Independent Women’s Voice (IWV) Advisor Riley Gaines and Independent Women’s Law Center (IWLC) Senior Fellow and Attorney May Mailman will testify before the Ohio Senate’s Government Oversight Committee on Title IX and the right to equal opportunity, the discrimination women face when forced to compete against men in women’s single-sex sport, and the need for policies and laws that protect fairness, privacy, and safety. Gaines and Mailman will argue for the passage of legislation (HB 68) to protect the integrity and safety of women’s sports. The hearing begins at 2:00 p.m. ET.

At the hearing, the committee will consider various bills including the Save Women’s Sports Act (HB 68), which requires schools, state institutions of higher education, and private colleges to designate separate single-sex teams and sports for each sex. HB 68 has passed the Ohio House and mandates that sports teams at both the K-12 and college levels be based upon biological sex rather than gender identity. 

Gaines and Mailman will share unique perspectives on the issue of men competing in women’s sports and will urge the passage of HB 68 to protect female athletes, particularly at the collegiate level. 

Gaines will share her story and experience as a 12x All-American swimmer at the University of Kentucky, where she was forced to compete against biological male, Lia Thomas, in the 2022 NCAA Championships in the 200-yard freestyle. 

In her testimony, Gaines writes, “Here in Ohio, Oberlin College effectively ousted its long-time women’s lacrosse coach Kim Russell after expressing her personal opinion on social media that males should not be allowed to compete in competitions designated for women. For supporting female athletes, she was disciplined by administrators and harassed by students.”

“It’s time to ensure Oberlin College and other institutions of higher education in Ohio stop undermining the integrity of women’s sports and discriminating against women,” Gaines adds. 

Mailman, a resident of Shaker Heights, Ohio, and former Deputy Solicitor General and Director of the Tenth Amendment Center for the State of Ohio, will argue the need for state legislation to protect female athletes. In her testimony, Mailman writes, in part, “Put simply, Title IX requires colleges and universities to provide equal opportunities to male and female athletes. Allowing males to take roster spots and opportunities from females violates this equal opportunity mandate. The Biden administration has not demonstrated a willingness to enforce Title IX and opportunities for women. That gap demands that Ohio act and pass HB 68.”

Mailman cites IWF’s Competition: Title IX, Male-Bodies Athletes, and the Treat to Women’s Sports, arguing that competitive sport is a zero sum game in which some athletes make the team and others do not, and that inevitably female-bodied athletes will lose out due to the scientific and biological advantages of male-bodies athletes.


WHAT: Ohio Senate Government Oversight Committee Hearing, “Enact Ohio SAFE Act”

WHEN: Tuesday, November 28, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. ET.

WHERE: North Hearing Room

Media Inquiries: [email protected]

Gaines’s and Mailman’s full testimonies will be available HERE at 2:00 p.m. ET.

Independent Women’s Law Center advocates for equal opportunity, individual liberty, and the continued legal relevance of biological sex.
Independent Women’s Voice fights for women by expanding support for policy solutions that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance freedom, opportunities, and well-being.