Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) asked new Biden Education Secretary nominee Miguel Cardona tough questions about Title IX and the impact of Biden's new EO giving protections from that law to "gender identity" in addition to biological sex.
"The Office of Civil Rights sent a letter to Connecticut saying that boys can't compete with girls in sports," Paul said. "If you're confirmed, will you enforce that Office of Civil Rights opinion?"
"I understand that there are alot of concerns about that," Cardona said, "if confirmed it's my responsibility and my privilege to make sure that we're following the civil rights of all students, and that includes activities that they may engage in in high school or in athletics."
Cardona hails from Connecticut, where the fight over allowing biological males to compete in girls high school sports has been litigious. Female, high school athletes, who have stated that their efforts and achievements were undermined by the allowance of biological young men to compete against them in track and field competitions, sued the state.
Trump's Education Secretary Betsy DeVos also took up the case, saying that the Title IX protections are for biological sex alone, which should not be conflated with gender identity.
"What do you think in general about boys running in girls' track meets like they've been doing in Connecticut?" Paul asked.
"I think that it's critically important that education systems and educators respect the rights of all students including students who are transgender, and that they are afforded the opportunities that every other student has to participate in extracurricular activities."
"Does it bother you," Paul asked, "that like the top 20 percent of boys running in track meets beat all of the girls in the state and that would completely destroy girls' athletics? That girls are being pushed out? They don't make the finals in the state meet, they don't get college scholarships, it's really detrimental to girls' sports. Do you worry about having boys run in girls track meets?"
"I recognize and appreciate the concerns," Cardona said, "and the frustrations that are expressed. As Commissioner of Education I've had conversations with families who have felt that the way that you just described it and families of students who are transgender. So I understand that this is a challenge. I look forward to working with you and others—"
Paul cut him off, asking "Do you think it's fair to have boys running in the girls' track meet?"
"I think it's appropriate, I think it's the legal responsibility of schools" Cardona responded, "to provide opportunities for students to participate in activities and this includes students who are transgender."
"So you don't have a problem, then, with boys running in the girls' track meets, swimming meets, you name it, you're okay with boys competing with girls?" Paul tried to clarify.
"Respectfully, Senator," Cardona intoned, "I think I answered the question. I think schools should offer the opportunity for students to engage in extracurricular activities even if they're transgender. That's their right."
"Well alot of us think that that's bizarre," Paul said, "not very fair. I come from a family that has a lot of girls that have competed in college athletics and have been state champions, and frankly, some boy that's six foot two competing against my five foot four niece doesn't sound very fair. I think most people in the country think it's bizarre, just completely bizarre and unfair that people, and you're gonna run the Department of Education, and you've got no problem with it?"
Paul continued "That concerns me and I think this kind of thing is just gonna lead to really just the vast majority of America just wondering who are these people that think it's okay? From what planet are you from? To think it's okay that boys would compete against girls in a track meet and that that somehow would be fair?"
"I wonder where feminists are on this," Paul asked, seemingly unaware that a large swath of the feminist movement has bought into the conflation of gender identity and biological sex.
"I wonder where the people who supported women's sports are on this," Paul said. "I mean, are we all gonna be okay with hulking six foot four guys wrestling against girls? It just makes no sense whatsoever, and I think the fact that you seem to be afraid to answer the question, or you basically do answer the question by saying it's okay without saying it's okay, really is a statement to a real problem we have, and a disconnect between what middle America and what most Americans actually believe."
"I actually think most Democrats don't actually believe boys should run in the girls track meet, so I'm disappointed in the answer and I just can't imagine that we're going to have a policy like that nationally," Paul concluded.