Democratic Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey believes that concerns over males competing in female sports are based on “overgeneralized” and “unfounded assumptions,” according to a June 2023 letter obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Casey wrote the letter in response to an individual asking about “transgender youth participation in athletics,” just months after announcing his bid for reelection in what has become one of the nation’s more competitive Senate races this cycle. The senator emphasized his support for what he believes to be the benefits of “allowing transitioning youth to participate in athletics in their affirmed gender” in the letter obtained by the DCNF.

“The decision to transition is a profoundly significant and challenging one that young adults make after careful consideration. This is a conclusion that young adults reach after extensive consultation with their medical providers and loved ones, and with the knowledge of the tremendous social obstacles that unfortunately lie ahead,” Casey wrote.

“All young people should have the opportunity to enjoy recreational sports and have their personal dignity respected,” Casey added. “In a world where transgender youth face a disproportionate risk of bullying, harassment, and violence, allowing transitioning youth to participate in athletics in their affirmed gender can provide enormous social and psychological benefits. Rather than stigmatizing vulnerable youth, I believe we can and should create inclusive and informed guidance that allows all students to flourish.”

 

[Sen. Bob Casey Letter June 2023/Daily Caller News Foundation Obtained]

Sporting associations like FINA, the International Cricket Council, the International Angling Sport Federation, the International Cycling Union and the British Cycling have cracked down on biological men competing in women’s sports following years of backlash on the issue.

 

While there have been concerns over men’s natural advantage in competing with women — like the University of Pennsylvania’s Lia Thomas, who won the 500-yard women’s final in the 2022 NCAA championships — there has also been a concern over female athletes’ safety.

Peyton McNabb, a high school volleyball player in North Carolina, received a concussion during a match from a male’s spike in September 2022; Francesca Needham, an English transgender soccer player, allegedly broke a female’s knee during a game in October 2023; and a female Massachusetts field hockey player got her teeth knocked out by a male player in November 2023.

The senator also argued for enacting policies and legislation that “respect both athletic competition and inclusion,” according to the letter.

Casey cosponsored the Equality Act in 2021, which would require schools to permit biological men to compete in women’s sports, allow individuals to use whichever bathroom coincides with their “gender identity” and add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as protected classes to existing nondiscrimination laws. The legislation was passed by the Democratic-controlled House in 2021, but stalled in the Senate.

“I believe LGBTQ+ individuals, like all individuals, should be able to live and flourish in a safe and welcoming environment without fear of harassment or discrimination,” Casey wrote in the letter after emphasizing his support for the legislation.

 

[Sen. Bob Casey Letter June 2023/Daily Caller News Foundation Obtained]

Casey, who has served in the upper chamber since 2007, will face-off with former hedge fund CEO David McCormick, the Republican nominee, in November.

 

While public polling has shown Casey leading McCormick all cycle, several recent surveys have indicated the race is tightening, according to FiveThirtyEight’s compilation.

A New York Times/Siena College poll released May 13 found Casey ahead by two points among likely voters; a Fabrizio, Lee & Associates/Impact Research poll published May 7 showed the senator leading by four points among likely voters; and an Emerson College poll out April 30 also indicated McCormick was down by four points.

The Cook Political Report has Casey’s race in the “Lean D” column, along with Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin’s and open seats in Michigan and Arizona.

Neither Casey’s office nor campaign responded to the DCNF’s requests for comment.

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