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By Sarah Holliday
The Washington Stand

In a win for those committed to keeping biological men out of female sports, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) ruled Wednesday to dismiss a challenge from the trans-identifying swimmer, Lia Thomas.

This occurred after World Aquatics, “the sole and exclusive world governing body for all Aquatics,” approved rules “to maintain the separation of Aquatic sports into men’s and women’s categories according to scientifically-grounded, sex-based criteria.” Thomas, whose goal is to compete in women’s Olympic competitions as a biological male, asked CAS to reject the policy as discrimination.

“Thomas is not on the preliminary entry list for the U.S. Olympic swimming trials, which begin this weekend in Indianapolis ahead of the start of the 2024 Paris Olympics next month,” USA Today reported. Despite his pleas, CAS dismissed the case after they decided the contested policy “does not yet apply to” him. In effect, this prevents Thomas from competing in the 2024 women’s Olympic competition.

The news received praise from various sources. World Aquatics said in a statement that their policy was “a major step forward in our efforts to protect women’s sport.” Additionally, former NCAA swimmer Riley Gaines, who also competed against the six-foot male swimmer, posted the “great news” on X, calling it “is a victory for women and girls everywhere.” Many joined the celebration, including Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.), who cheered, “Fantastic news!” Another user said, “That’s great to hear! He has no business in women’s sports… no male athlete does!” Gaines later shared that the next step is for the NCAA “to strip him of every award, title, and record he stole from a deserving female athlete.”

While left-wing activists argue that Thomas now has no chance of competing in the Olympics, World Aquatics established an “open category,” wherein trans-identifying athletes can still compete outside of the male-exclusive and female-exclusive categories. But for people like Thomas, “[T]his has never been about toleration of differences, but about surrender to their ideology,” Joseph Backholm, Family Research Council’s senior fellow for Biblical Worldview and Strategic Engagement, told The Washington Stand. Ultimately, he added, “An ‘open category’ recognizes the difference between men and women. That’s why they object to it.”

Backholm went on to say that what Thomas did in asking CAS to reject the policy is another example of how the transgender movement makes arguments “that exceed the limits of plausibility.” And as a result, “They’re finding people just don’t believe men can become women [simply] by wanting to.” He added, “This decision is a victory for common sense, but in a world where lies seem to frequently prevail, it is refreshing.” Even so, Backholm noted that we can expect to see more “people like Lia continue to press their case because they genuinely see themselves as victims.”

As Backholm emphasized, “They want to create a world where everyone is required to surrender to their self-perception regardless of the consequences.” But fortunately, he noted, the CAS decision shows “they’re not finding success everywhere.”

In further comment to TWS, Mary Szoch, FRC’s director of the Center for Human Dignity, said, “It shouldn’t be exciting that major sports organizations acknowledge the basic truth that only biological females can play women’s sports, but it is!” Considering the “biological advantages that men have make it both unfair and unsafe to allow men to compete against women,” she continued, adding that it’s encouraging that “the World Aquatics decision and the CAS ruling demonstrate that not everyone is willing to completely abandon truth in favor of the radical liberal agenda.”

Ultimately, Szoch concluded, “This is definitely a step in the right direction.”

Originally published at The Washington Stand!


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