Katherine Clark Says Males Competing In Girls’ Sports Is Not A Problem In Massachusetts

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2023/04/25/katherine-clark-says-males-competing-in-girls-sports-is-not-a-problem-in-massachusetts/

The United States House of Representatives voted to prevent males from competing in girls’ sports last week.

None of the nine U.S. Representatives from Massachusetts supported the measure.

U.S. Representative Katherine Clark (D-Revere) said that the so-called problem that Republicans were trying to solve is non-existent in Massachusetts, even though a male helped a girls’ high school sports team win a state championship in the state this past winter.

On a party-line vote, the U.S. House passed HR 734 on Thursday, April 20. The bill, known as the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act of 2023, passed 219-203; 219 Republicans voted for the bill, while none opposed, and zero Democrats supported it.

The bill would amend Title IX of the Equal Rights Amendment of 1972. It would make federal funding for public schools conditional on prohibiting males from participating in athletic programs for women and girls unless such participation does not deny females an opportunity or benefit of participating. It would allow males to practice with girls’ teams if they wish, but not to participate in games.

However, Clark said on the House floor on Wednesday, April 19, that transgender athletic participation has not resulted in any problems in Massachusetts.

Here is what Clark said on the matter:


As far as kids and sports go, as a mom of three, I can’t tell you how many hours I have spent cheering on my kids. It’s lacrosse, basketball, baseball. It has been soccer, rugby, cross country, track. We have seen, in my family, championship teams through T-ball teams – where our entire goal was to just get the outfield to stop digging for worms. 

But all of this is about kids and their experience. About learning, growing, forming friendships, knowing what it means to work hard, to practice, to see results, to be a team.

So, I was very interested when this bill was filed, to see what it was. What was the problem that the NCAA in Massachusetts and across this country, the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association and its counterparts around the country, what the Olympics, the International Track and Field Association – what they were missing. And I read this bill. And what they’re missing is:  nothing. 

This is not a problem in our communities, on our sports fields, for our children. 


Massachusetts has had several instances of transgender athletic participation. Most notably, a male runner who identifies as a female named Chloe Barnes helped the Brookline High girls’ indoor track and field team win a Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association Division 1 state championship this past February, as NewBostonPost previously reported.

The junior is a biological male who identifies as a transgender girl, as TB Daily News reported in January 2023 and Brookline’s student newspaper, The Sagreported in June 2022.

Barnes competed in the 55-meter hurdles and came in fourth place (8.72 seconds) in the winning effort. Barnes finished 0.24 seconds behind the winner of the race:  Sarah Dumas, a junior at Franklin High (8.48 seconds).

Supporters of bill say that it is rooted in biology and that males have unfair athletic advantages over females.

“Passing the Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act is an important step in upholding the decades of progress made by women since the enactment of Title IX,” U.S. Representative Virginia Foxx told The Washington Examiner. “Progressives are pushing a gender-bending agenda that erodes this progress and ignores science, but Republicans are firm in our commitment to protecting — and cultivating — opportunities for women to succeed.”

However, Massachusetts politicians do not see it that way.

U.S. Representative Richard Neal (D-Springfield) did not vote on the measure. The state’s other eight U.S. representatives voted against it. Those members of Congress are Jim McGovern (D-Worcester), Lori Trahan (D-Westford), Jake Auchincloss (D-Newton), Katherine Clark (D-Revere), Seth Moulton (D-Salem), Ayanna Pressley (D-Hyde Park), Stephen Lynch (D-South Boston), and Bill Keating (D-Bourne).

Although the bill passed in the U.S. House of Representatives, it is unlikely to become law this session. Democrats control the U.S. Senate and are unlikely to bring it up for a vote. Additionally, President Joe Biden would likely veto the measure if it went to his desk, and the House lacks a two-thirds majority on this issue to override a hypothetical veto.

Press offices for the nine U.S. representatives from Massachusetts could not be reached for comment on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, or Monday.


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