On June 20, 2023, Fox News host Sean Hannity hosted a town hall event with Republican presidential candidate Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The event was aired on Fox News’s Hannity at 9 p.m. and covered a range of topics, including the economy, immigration, foreign policy, and social issues.
One of the most controversial moments of the town hall came when Hannity asked Scott about his views on transgender rights and women’s sports. Scott, who has consistently opposed same-sex marriage, LGBTQ+ non-discrimination protections, and school accommodations for transgender students, said that he believes that allowing transgender athletes to compete in women’s sports is unfair and harmful to female athletes.
“I believe that every person is created in the image of God and deserves respect and dignity. But I also believe that there are biological differences between men and women that cannot be erased by ideology or surgery. And I think that when we allow biological males to compete in women’s sports, we are denying the opportunities and achievements of female athletes who have worked hard to excel in their fields,” Scott said.
Scott cited several examples of transgender athletes who have dominated in women’s sports, such as Laurel Hubbard, a weightlifter from New Zealand who qualified for the Tokyo Olympics; CeCe Telfer, a runner from Franklin Pierce University who won the NCAA Division II women’s 400-meter hurdles championship in 2019; and Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood, two high school sprinters from Connecticut who won multiple state titles.
“These are not isolated cases. These are examples of a trend that is happening across the country and around the world. And it is not fair to the girls and women who have trained hard, followed the rules, and competed with integrity. It is not fair to their parents, coaches, and fans who support them. And it is not fair to the future generations of female athletes who will be discouraged from pursuing their dreams because they know they will never have a level playing field,” Scott said.
Scott said that he supports legislation that would protect women’s sports from transgender participation, such as the Save Women’s Sports Act, which was introduced by Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL) in March 2023. The bill would require schools that receive federal funding to designate athletic teams based on biological sex, not gender identity.
“I think this is a common-sense solution that respects the rights of everyone involved. It preserves the integrity and fairness of women’s sports, while also ensuring that transgender students have access to other educational opportunities and activities. It is not about discrimination or hate. It is about justice and equality,” Scott said.
Hannity praised Scott for his stance and said that he agrees with him. He also criticized President Joe Biden for his executive order on preventing and combating discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation, which he signed on his first day in office. The order directs federal agencies to interpret Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits sex discrimination in federally funded education programs and activities, to include discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.
“Biden’s order is a radical assault on women’s rights and religious freedom. It forces schools to allow biological males to use girls’ bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers. It forces doctors and hospitals to perform gender transition procedures against their conscience. And it forces taxpayers to fund abortions and Planned Parenthood. This is not what the American people voted for. This is what the radical left wants to impose on us,” Hannity said.
The town hall ended with a standing ovation from the audience for Scott and Hannity.
Scott thanked Hannity for hosting him and said that he looks forward to winning the Republican nomination and defeating Biden in 2024.
Now defeating Biden in 2024 might be a very difficult task to do; as Biden deepens his grass root campaign strategies and gaining more grasp in battleground red states.