Philly Leader - 

Jul 15, 2022

Mastriano calls Wolf veto of Fairness in Women’s Sports Act a ‘huge setback’

Governor Tom Wolf recently vetoed House Bill 972, which would require public school sports teams to be based on biological sex. While he has gained praise from the majority of Democrats, Republicans like gubernatorial candidate state Sen. Douglas Mastriano have criticized the move, saying that "biological facts are indisputable."

“Women’s rights have suffered a huge setback at the hands of the radical left Biden/Wolf/Shapiro agenda," Mastriano said. "Gov. Wolf’s veto of the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act proves that he does not care about creating a level playing field for women or ensuring that women have equal opportunity in the field of athletics. Far-left ideologues like Josh Shapiro and Tom Wolf are not interested in promoting or defending women's rights -- in their words and in their actions, they are essentially attempting to erase women.”

Fox News reported that the legislation would have prohibited biological males who identify as transgender females from playing on women’s sports teams. Mastriano, who was a sponsor of the state Senate version of the bill, said that if elected governor he would sign this into law. In May, Mastriano won the Republican nomination for governor of Pennsylvania, where he defeated eight other candidates.

“The discrepancies between the two sexes has been very apparent in athletic completion," he said in a report by Fox News. He added that biological males have a "clear unfair advantage" over competing females and quoted President John Adams, saying, “Facts are stubborn things.”

The Associated Press (AP) reported that the retired U.S. Army colonel and current state senator defeated Republican candidates who outspent him and has said that he expects to do the same in November.

“We had the hardest-working campaign in this primary,” Mastriano said at an event in Chambersburg, according to AP. “We’re going to have the hardest-working campaign in the general election.”

Wolf called the bill "atrocious" and "discriminatory" in a press release on July 8, stating that legislators who voted in support of the bill "should be ashamed of themselves.”

"My administration is committed to supporting transgender individuals and ensuring Pennsylvania is an inclusive place for everyone,” he said in the release. “To the LGBTQ+ community in Pennsylvania and especially to our transgender and nonbinary youth and young people: I see you, I support you, I respect you, and I stand with you.”

"I have been crystal clear during my time in office that hate has no place in Pennsylvania, especially discrimination against already marginalized youth representing less than half of 1 percent of Pennsylvania’s population,” the governor added. "The fact that this bill passed through Pennsylvania’s Republican-led General Assembly solely to bully and oppress vulnerable children is atrocious. These members should be ashamed of themselves for proposing and voting on policies that are discriminatory, unnecessary, and incredibly harmful.”

State Sen. Lisa Boscola (D-Northampton) was the lone Democrat to vote for the bill.

“I also feel for the female athlete that trains and competes and views the field as unfair when faced against competing with a transgender athlete,” she told Fox News.

In May, transgender swimmer Lia Thomas from the University of Pennsylvania set a record in the women’s 500-yard freestyle, but some spoke out against it.

“I know I can’t speak for everyone, but I am almost certain I’m speaking for a large majority of female athletes,” University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines told Fox News. “This is not OK and it’s not fair.”

Wolf will be leaving office after his term is complete, and Attorney General Josh Shapiro will be representing the Democrats in the upcoming November election, the AP report said. He will face Mastriano, who has gained support from former President Donald Trump.

Shapiro has served two terms as the attorney general as elected by the people. He ran unopposed in the primary and has raised more than $20 million since the beginning of 2021. He has also been endorsed by the AFL-CIO.

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