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AG Morrisey, Riley Gaines speak on the importance to defend West Virginia’s Save Women’s Sports Act

CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey was joined by Riley Gaines, a former college-level swimmer and controversial activist, to discuss the importance of why women’s sports should be protected at a press conference on Wednesday, April 24, 2024, in Charleston, West Virginia.

The Attorney General, along with his colleagues, will be going to the U.S. Supreme Court to seek to overturn the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals decision that sustained a challenge to the Women’s Sport Act, with the panel ruling 2-1.

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This issue arose when a middle school boy who has been transitioning into a girl competed in a Harrison County Middle School Track and Field Shot Put event for girls. Due to this, the middle school girls on the team, being 13 and 14 years of age decided to protest and not compete.

The Save Women’s Sports Act is under Title IX, which explains that biological males should be prevented from playing in women’s sports. This is to defend women, help them feel secure, and to give them a fighting chance when they compete in a sport.

Riley Gaines, the Keynote Speaker of the event, explained her stance by saying this issue has nothing against people who transitioned and is not an anti-trans concern.

“This is a matter of being pro-fairness. This is a matter of being pro-reality, pro-common sense, pro-safety, pro-transparency. It is a matter of being pro-woman,” said Gaines.

Gaines was able to relate to this issue from personal experience. When she was in college, she and other female swimmers were forced to compete against a biological male who had transitioned, in March of 2022. The transitioned man swam to a women’s national title.

She swam and competed with him, which resulted in a tie, but the NCAA gave him the trophy. They told Gaines it was necessary in photos for their organization, that the male should be holding the trophy. She and other female swimmers had to share a locker room with him as well. Gaines also shared that she and the other women swimmers were not warned and did not give their consent.

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Across the country in various sports, males are entering women’s athletic competitions, given spots on women’s teams, and entry into women’s locker rooms. According to Gaines, “to date, males have stolen over 943 trophies medals and titles from women and girls across 458 different competitions, and in over 31 different sports.”

“My hope is that this case will get revisited, and I’m asking all women and all men that believe in women’s sports to get on board and save women’s sports,” said Emmy Salerno, one of the girls from the middle school team from Shinnston, West Virginia.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey also shared his thoughts saying, “This is one of the most important cases that my office has handled over the past 12 years. We are vigorously defending the law, and that law is reasonable. It’s based on biology and based on fairness.”

Gaines also added that this Act is not a matter of being hateful or opinionated, but to only protect the rights of women of all ages, and to give them the confidence to succeed and thrive in life.

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