In a hearing for President Biden’s nominee for education secretary Wednesday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) pressed Dr. Miguel Cardona to weigh in on the ongoing debate about how transgender students should compete in sports, describing the concept of students competing with their corresponding gender identity as “bizarre” and repeatedly mislabeling transgender girls as “boys.”
In a line of questioning that’s since drawn criticism on social media, the Republican senator repeatedly asked Cardona if he thinks it’s fair to have “boys competing with girls,” arguing it will “completely destroy girls’ athletics.”
Paul specifically drew on findings published by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights last spring that stated Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conferences decision to allow transgender female athletes to compete in women’s sports violated Title IX.
“If you’re confirmed, would you support the Office of Civil Right opinion?” Paul asked.
Cardona said while he understands “there’s a lot of concerns,” he believes it is the “legal responsibility of schools to provide opportunities for students to participate in activities and this includes students who are transgender.”
In response, Paul said he found it “bizarre” that some people believe transgender students should be able to compete with their corresponding gender identity.
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) also echoed Paul’s concerns about transgender women competing in women’s’ sports, saying: “I’ve got pictures of my 8 granddaughters, among some grandsons, behind me … They shouldn’t be competing with people who are physiologically in an entirely different category.”