WASHINGTON, D.C. – Democratic Whip Katherine Clark (MA-5) took to the House Floor to denounce a Republican bill that would ban trans children from participating in school sports teams. Below is a transcript of her remarks.
“Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and I thank the gentleman for yielding.
“Listen, I'm from Boston. If we want to talk about sports, I'm all in. If we want to talk about equality for women and girls – if we want to talk about Title IX and ensuring fairness in sports – sign me up.
“As far as kids and sports go, as a mom of three, I can't tell you how many hours I have spent cheering on my kids. It’s lacrosse, basketball, baseball. It has been soccer, rugby, cross country, track. We have seen, in my family, championship teams through T-ball teams – where our entire goal was to just get the outfield to stop digging for worms.
“But all of this is about kids and their experience. About learning, growing, forming friendships, knowing what it means to work hard, to practice, to see results, to be a team.
“So, I was very interested when this bill was filed, to see what it was. What was the problem that the NCAA in Massachusetts and across this country, the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association and its counterparts around the country, what the Olympics, the International Track and Field Association – what they were missing. And I read this bill. And what they're missing is: nothing.
“This is not a problem in our communities, on our sports fields, for our children.
“And I think it was articulated so well by the Republican Governor of Utah when he pointed out numbers that were important to his decision to veto a similar bill. That 75,000 kids played high school sports in his state. Just four of them are trans kids. One of them plays girl sports. And 86% of our trans youth will have suicidal ideation. And 56% will attempt suicide.
“What are we doing here? What are we doing here as Members of Congress? Where, as the Governor said, we are expending so much fear and division on so few – on kids! Think about what we are doing as members of the United States House of Representatives.
“I keep thinking about the mom who told me about her rural community, where her concern was the grief because they were losing their children. Losing them because there wasn’t economic opportunity for them in their hometown. And losing them because they were dying of opioid overdoses.
“So let's think about this. We need to be working on the issues that matter to families and kids, and to make these children – these children – responsible for all of that. To hold them and to incite fear and discrimination and hatred. You should hang your heads in shame.”
To watch the full speech, click HERE.# # #