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According to American Education Secretary nominee, transgender athletes should play women’s sports

The nominee for Secretary of Education said that transgender high school athletes should be allowed to compete in girls’ athletic events.


During a Senate hearing on Wednesday of the confirmation of Miguel Cardona as leader of the Department of Education (ED), Senator Rand Paul repeatedly pressed Cardona on the matter of male athletes who identify as transgender competing in girls’ athletic events. 

Paul brought up a 2019 letter by the ED Office of Civil Rights, which stated that “boys can’t compete with girls in sports.” The letter was sent by the office to the state of Connecticut, where the state’s high school athletic association in 2017 allowed athletes to compete in sports based on their “preferred gender identity,” and not their biological sex. 

Paul asked Cardona if he would continue to enforce that letter if he were to be affirmed as Education Secretary. Cardona did not answer directly, but said he would uphold “the civil rights of all students, and that includes activities they may engage in, in high school or athletics.”. 

Paul repeatedly followed up with questions on the topic, asking Cardona if he was “bothered” by biological males dominating at high school girls’ athletic events, and asking if he thought that situation “fair.”

“The girls are being pushed out,” Paul said, citing the case of Connecticut, where two male sprinters identifying as transgender females won 15 state championship titles after the state’s athletics policy changed in 2017. “They [female athletes] don’t make the finals in the state meets, they don’t get college scholarships–that it’s really detrimental to girls sports,” Paul pressed Cardona.

Cardona is currently Connecticut’s commissioner of education. Several Connecticut female track athletes have since sued over the state high school athletic association’s policy. 

Cardona said he believes it “is the legal responsibility of schools to provide opportunities for students to participate in activities, and this includes students who are transgender.” He repeated that phrase nearly verbatim numerous times throughout the hearing.

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