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Riley Gaines challenges Democrat senator at committee hearing

Earlier this month, former Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines testified at the Senate’s hearing on LGBTQ rights.

At the hearing, Gaines challenged State Judiciary Chair Dick Durbin, D-Ill., when he accused Republicans of promoting “hateful rhetoric” for protesting transgender participation in female sports.

"At this point, I'd like to remind our colleagues, our children are listening, and they are in danger," Durbin said during the hearing. "When these young people who are already struggling hear politicians amplify hateful rhetoric that denies their very existence, what message does it send?"

Gaines responded to Durbin’s remark later in the hearing, saying that transgender participation in female sports leaves biological women at a disadvantage.

Speaking to Durbin, Gaines said, "You had mentioned that, what message does it send to trans individuals? And my comeback to that is, what message does this send to women, to young girls, who are denied of these opportunities?"

Durbin responded by claiming there was no evidence that transgender women perform better than biological women.

Gaines has been a voice against trans activism since competing against transgender swimmer Lia Thomas in 2022. Last month, Gaines testified to violence against her by trans activists when she spoke at San Francisco State University.

On Tuesday, Gaines posted to Twitter about the upcoming anniversary of Title IX, legislation prohibiting sexual discrimination in educational settings.

“I’m desperately waiting to see how the NCAA will try to convince people of the great strides they're making for women's sports,” Gaines wrote. “They have proven they don't care about our privacy, safety, or equal opportunities. You've made your bed, now lie in it.”

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