We used to take it for granted that when young women chose to step up to the plate or dive into the pool, they’d be competing fairly against other women. Sadly, common sense has become less common, as males have self-identified their way into women’s locker rooms, prisons and athletic competitions across the country. That’s why West Virginians stepped up in 2021 to protect athletic opportunities for girls and women by passing H.B. 3293, which simply clarifies that only females would be permitted to participate in female scholastic athletics. 

But just days ago, the Fourth Circuit, picking up on arguments coming straight from the Biden administration, ludicrously found that keeping women’s sports all-female violates Title IX. This is a view that the Biden administration has since codified with its final Title IX regulation rewrite, which was released April 19.  

That’s right, Title IX, a statute meant to protect women’s educational opportunities, including in sports, is now being used to unfairly deny women their right to fair competition against other women. 

The Biden administration is hiding behind the smallest and most dishonest of political fig leaves when it claims its regulations do not cover athletics, and that they will separately address women’s sports (presumably after the election, avoiding the backlash from women who will be denied their opportunities and safety starting in August). 

The reality is that a plain reading of the new Title IX regulations eviscerates and turns on its head the definition of “sex.” The Biden administration will almost certainly say that it applies not only to schools’ bathrooms, locker rooms and other women’s spaces, but women’s sports teams, as well.  

In fact, the administration is already on record as using its inverted vision of Title IX in this way to claim that the Fourth Circuit should block West Virginia’s protections for female athletes, which ensure that they only compete against other females. 

Gallingly, the brief submitted by the Biden administration claims that “transgender girls” – meaning boys and men – competing against girls and women do not pose any threat to athletic opportunities for those girls.  

In that brief, the federal government’s lawyers wrote this Orwellian sentence: “By prohibiting transgender girls from participating on girls’ sports teams because their sex assigned at birth was male, and thus causing them harm, H.B. 3293 discriminates on the basis of sex.” 

West Virginia disagrees. West Virginia knows what a woman is, and knows that when strength, size and speed matter, the innate differences between women and men matter. 

West Virginia knows that there is a reason that we have separate dorm rooms, locker rooms and prison cells that keep women and men separate. It’s for women’s safety and security and pretending these differences don’t matter puts women at risk of assault and physical injury.  

The Biden administration does not have the authority to unilaterally redefine the word “sex” and to allow men to take over women’s opportunities in education, athletics and other spaces. That’s why we intend to appeal this reality-defying overreach to the Supreme Court. 

That’s also why West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is today signing the Independent Women’s Voices’ Stand with Women Commitment, promising that he will fight to defend women’s equal opportunities and private spaces while in office and whenever is necessary.  

Given what’s happening at the federal level and in our courts, it’s more clear than ever that we need legislation like the Women’s Bill of Rights, to define sex-based terms like women and men, male and female, so that it is clear that these concepts are rooted in biology and that women should be free and able to share private spaces and competitions with fellow women.  

I’m proud to stand with Morrisey as he stands with women and commits to fight for women’s equality. Activists in the Biden administration may claim that men have a right to invade women’s spaces and sports teams, but U.S. Civil Rights law demands no such thing, and the people of West Virginia have the right to stand with women and proclaim the truth in state law.