Burgess Owens weighs in on Biden admin proposed Title IX adjustments: ‘It’s not emotions, it’s equity’

The debate over transgender participation in sports activities has taken on a extra pressing that means following the Biden administration’s April proposal to develop Title IX laws. 

The new guidelines would develop the that means of intercourse discrimination to incorporate gender id, which might forestall faculties and faculties from banning transgender athletes.

President Joe Biden

President Joe Biden speaks on the University of Tampa on Feb. 9, 2023. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Under the proposed laws, faculties wouldn’t be allowed to “undertake or apply a one-size-fits-all coverage that categorically bans transgender college students from collaborating on groups per their gender id.”

The proposal has garnered immense backlash from conservatives who see the adjustments as a step towards the destruction of ladies’s sports activities. 


Rep. Burgess Owens, R-Utah, not too long ago spoke with Fox News Digital concerning the proposed adjustments to Title IX, and the previous skilled athlete strongly spoke out in protection of ladies’s sports activities. 

Burgess Owens testifies

Former NFL participant Burgess Owens testifies throughout a listening to on slavery reparations held by the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties on June 19, 2019 in Washington, DC. The subcommittee debated the H.R. 40 invoice, which proposes a fee be fashioned to review and develop reparation proposals for African-Americans. (Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

“What we’re speaking proper now could be one thing that within the historical past of the world, we’ve all understood wouldn’t be truthful,” Owens instructed Fox News Digital. “That’s what it comes all the way down to. It’s equity. 

“It’s not emotions, it’s equity. At the top of the day, girls have the fitting to really feel like they’re going to get on the sphere of competitors and pretty compete. Not in opposition to boys, not in opposition to males. We all know the science is there, that there’s a huge distinction. It’s the best way God created us.” 

Over the previous a number of years, the transgender debate has turn out to be one of many fiercest of the tradition wars.

The debate has entered the sphere of athletics, with transgender athletes akin to Lia Thomas collaborating in girls’s sports activities. 

Riley Gaines and Lia Thomas

Riley Gaines, now a spokeswoman for the Independent Women’s Forum, famously tied Lia Thomas for fifth place within the 200 Freestyle finals on the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships final yr.  (Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)

Thomas, who competed on the lads’s swim staff at UPenn for 3 seasons earlier than transitioning, grew to become the primary transgender athlete to win a Division I nationwide championship in any sport, profitable the 500-yard freestyle in March 2022. 

And whereas many states have responded by enacting bans on transgender participation in sports activities, the proposed adjustments to Title IX would supersede these legal guidelines. 

“The federal civil rights regulation is the regulation of the land and we’d be keen to make sure its full satisfaction in each faculty neighborhood across the nation,” a senior official for the Department of Education stated in April, in accordance with ABC News. 

Since its inception in 1972, Title IX has allowed girls’s sports activities to be on an equal enjoying subject with males’s sports activities. 


Due partly to Title IX, girls’s athletics have seen an uptick in recognition. The girls’s faculty basketball Final Four in April was an enormous hit – arguably garnering extra consideration than the lads’s match – with a file 9.9 million viewers tuning in for the sport between Iowa and LSU. 

Caitlin Clark dribbles

Alexis Morris #45 of the LSU Lady Tigers defends in opposition to Caitlin Clark #22 of the Iowa Hawkeyes through the fourth quarter through the 2023 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament championship recreation at American Airlines Center on April 02, 2023 in Dallas, Texas. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

If organic males are allowed to compete in girls’s sports activities, Owens believes the progress in girls’s sports activities can be undone. 

“There is not any query, and nobody will ever doubt or debate, you carry boys in women basketball [and] women will mainly be eradicated,” Owens instructed Fox News Digital. “You carry boys into volleyball … there’s a motive why the web for ladies is seven inches shorter than for boys, for males. There’s a motive for that as a result of we perceive what’s truthful and what the boundaries may be.”

When requested what the subsequent steps are within the course of, Owens stated he believes the adjustments to Title IX can be stopped in courtroom. 


“We’re going to start out wanting into laws, now that we perceive how far this may go, that’s going to place Congress again into management,” Owens stated. “There ought to by no means be a time when an administration comes by way of with these completely different guidelines, and govt orders, to drive and switch our nation in a very completely different approach. We’re a republic democracy. That means we the folks management our future … Not bureaucrats who can write guidelines and alter every little thing. 

Burgess Owens testifies during a hearing

Former NFL participant Burgess Owens testifies throughout a listening to on slavery reparations held by the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties on June 19, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

“The rule that they’re – initially it would go to courtroom, I’m fairly certain it will likely be stopped – however extra importantly, we’re going to start out laws as a physique to verify they’ll’t contend to try to legislate as bureaucrats.”

Conservatives have taken their very own steps with the intention to forestall organic males from competing in opposition to girls, with the House passing the “Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act” final week. 

Under the invoice, instructional establishments that obtain Title IX funding wouldn’t be allowed to allow organic male athletes to “take part in an athletic program or exercise that’s designed for ladies or women.” It holds that the intercourse of an athlete is outlined solely by their “reproductive biology and genetics at delivery.”

President Biden has stated he would veto the invoice if it had been to reach at his desk.

“It’s mainly good widespread sense. It’s primarily based on biology. It’s not primarily based on emotions,” Owens instructed Fox News Digital when requested concerning the invoice.  

referee holds the game ball during the national championship game

A referee holds the sport ball through the recreation between the LSU Lady Tigers and the Iowa Hawkeyes through the 2023 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament National Championship at American Airlines Center on April 2, 2023 in Dallas, Texas.  (C. Morgan Engel/NCAA Photos by way of Getty Images)

“I don’t care what you name your self. If you’re a man, compete with different guys and women compete with different women. It additionally makes certain that guys can not go into women’ bogs. The basic items that we’ve all the time understood and brought as a right. What this Title IX [proposed changes] does is say ‘Based on my emotions, I can do something I need to, simply say I’m trans, and I’m okay.’ 

“It shouldn’t work that approach. Be trans, it’s okay. No drawback with that however respect girls. If you’re a man, do the issues that guys are requested to do. Go to guys’ bogs, compete in opposition to different guys, and work as exhausting as you possibly can. If you beat them, superior. If you don’t, that’s the best way it really works. That’s the best way competitors [and] meritocracy has all the time labored.” 

The Biden administration’s proposed adjustments to Title IX would enable some leeway for faculties to “restrict transgender college students’ participation.”

“The proposed rule would offer faculties with a framework for growing eligibility standards that protects college students from being denied equal athletic alternative, whereas giving faculties the flexibleness to develop their very own participation insurance policies,” the U.S. Department of Education wrote when saying the proposal. 

Fox News Peter Kasperowicz contributed to this report

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