Former NCAA swimmer and national advocate for women’s sports Riley Gaines joined a group of Granite State lawmakers via Zoom Tuesday to urge Gov. Chris Sununu to support girls-only sports and public spaces.

“Chris Sununu has the opportunity to be a leader. He has the opportunity to send a message to every girl and every woman in the state of New Hampshire that they do matter,” Gaines told NHJournal.

The New Hampshire legislature passed four bills dealing with biological sex and transgender issues.

HB1205 would keep biological males off of girls-only sports teams. HB396 would allow female-only locker rooms, jails and sports teams. HB619 would require ban children from undergoing permanent sex change medical treatments. And HB1312 would require schools to notify parents when children are being given information about gender identity.

All four bills are currently awaiting Sununu’s signature or veto.

Asked by NHJournal for her “elevator pitch” to Sununu on why he should sign these bills, Gaines said she would ask Sununu a question.

“I know you’ve heard it in your state that this isn’t really happening. It’s such a small percentage, you know, this is a solution in search of a problem. I would be more than happy to fill him in on the girls in the state of New Hampshire alone who have reached out to me,” Gaines said. “I would show him screenshots of girls and their parents who say, ‘You know, I don’t even want to compete. I don’t even like my sport anymore. This used to be a sport that I love, but I don’t even want to play.’

“I would ask: How many girls does it take before this matters? Is it one? Is it two? Is it five? Is it a whole team being made up of males? Is it a male state champion, which has already happened in your state? We just saw the same male [athlete] place second back in March at a state level meet. There are now five states that have a male as a state champion in the female category.

“You want to know how many women have earned male state championships? Zero.”

The Gaines event was hosted by former Nashua state Rep. Casey Crane, who is seeking the GOP nomination in the Second Congressional District. Several state representatives who sponsored the legislation were on hand as well.

Crane said she would make federal legislation protesting women’s sports a priority in Congress, and she would use the New Hampshire approach as a model.

“This is a common sense issue, not a partisan one,” Crane told NHJournal.
“Democrats, independents, Republicans, they call care about girls’ rights of privacy, their right not to be fearful.”

Crane said she was an employee of the Collegiate Charter School of Lowell in February when the girls basketball team had to forfeit a game against KIPP Academy after players suffered injuries at the hands of a bearded, 6-foot-tall male. The player, who identifies as female, is seen on video ragdolling a girl player on the Lowell team.

“The impact on girls and women is real,” Crane said. “The advocates ¬†don’t see the other side, but I have. They don’t see the students who are injured, or the students sitting in locker room wondering if a boy is going to come in their locker room. And the parents who are afraid to speak out.”

If Sununu signs the girls-only sports bill, it would make New Hampshire the 25th state to do so, a point Gaines noted in her comments.

“If New Hampshire comes through, that will be the 25th state. So half the states in the country will be protected, and the NCAA won’t be able to ignore it. They can’t withdraw from half the states,” Gaines said.

State Rep. Alissandra Murray (D-Manchester), who identifies as nonbinary, took to social media to attack Gaines as an “out-of-state grifter” and denounce New Hampshire Republicans for listening to her.

Ironically, Murray was rebuked by the House Ethics Committee over refusing to recuse on votes related to abortion issues after failing to fill out the required form declaring a conflict of interest on these bills. According to Murray’s employer, the Manchester Democrat is paid a salary by an abortion services nonprofit so that Murray can serve in the otherwise unpaid position in the House.

Gaines said people who believe in the rights of women need to stand up to the name calling on their behalf. She also rejected the argument that questions of sex and gender are too complicated for average citizens to understand.

“Who would have thought you would have to be legislating on defining biological sex into law? We’ve never struggled, in the nearly 250 years that we’ve been established as a country, to understand what it means,” Gaines said.

“Yet here we are, with a sitting Supreme Court justice who can’t even answer the question ‘What is a woman?’ because, she claims, she’s ‘not a biologist.’

“Well, guess what? I’m not a veterinarian, but I know what a dog is. That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.”