When a young female Ohio GOP legislator presented an amendment to an Ohio bill, an amendment that would protect biological female athletes from being forced to compete against biological males, Democrats reacted by screaming and banging their desks in an effort to drown her out, prompting criticism and mockery.
Ohio state representative Jena Powell, who in February 2020 proposed the “Save Women’s Sports Act,” was attempting to add an amendment to the “Name. Image, Likeness” bill as she stated, “The Safe Women’s Sports Act is a fairness issue for women to be able to achieve their dreams in athletics in our state. And it’s crucial to preserving women’s rights and the integrity of women’s and girls’ sports. Across our country, female athletes are currently losing scholarships, opportunities, medals, education and training opportunities.”
At this point, Democrats started hammering on their desks and shouting repeatedly.
Powell continued, “This amendment will require schools that are part of the OHSAA —”
The hammering intensified.
“ — to designate separate teams for participants of the biological sex. No school —” Powell went on, then had to stop for a moment, exasperated, before she continued, “No school interscholastic conference or organization that regulates interscholastics shall permit biological males to participate on athletic teams or an athletic competition designated only for biological female participants. Currently, OHSAA allows biological males to compete against biological females if they either completed a year of hormone therapy, demonstrated they do not possess physical —”
Despite the continued disruptions, Powell went on to discuss Ohio’s policies on the issue. Eventually, a point of order was raised until the Democrats finally stopped their antics.
The Democrats’ “disgraceful behavior” was roundly rebuked online.
Disgraceful behavior from Rep. Michael Skindell at the Ohio House yesterday as Rep. Jena Powell tried to speak. pic.twitter.com/zp8aPsxiyg
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) June 29, 2021
Powell was asked on Washington Watch, “Why was the reaction so strong?” She replied:
I can’t explain always why the Left doesn’t like some of the things that we do, but this is a simple bill, an amendment to say, “Hey, we want to protect the integrity of women’s sports in the state of Ohio.” I think the Left is frustrated and oftentimes they speak out in ways that are very inappropriate. When I had the House floor, the Speaker did address me, which means I have the ability to speak. Instead of waiting for his turn to speak, he decided to erupt into yelling, and as you heard in the clip, just literally banging on top of his desk. I don’t even think any of the members could hear my speech; that’s how loud it really was.
Washington Watch noted Ohio GOP governor Mike DeWine apparently criticized the amendment by saying, “This issue is best addressed outside of government through individual sports leagues and athletic associations, including the Ohio High School Athletic Association, who can tailor policies to meet the needs of their member athletes and member institutions.”
Powell responded, “I would say Governor DeWine’s response is from an individual who’s scared of the woke Left and not willing to stand up for the millions of women in our state. … The thing about the OHSAA, though, is that they’re not elected by Ohioans. We as representatives are; we as politicians are, and so this is where we have to step in and say, ‘Look: enough is enough. We have to protect Ohio females.’ So instead of Mike DeWine doing what was right, he pushed the ball down the court and really kind of hid behind that so that woke corporations wouldn’t come after him.”
Powell noted that DeWine had vetoed other conservatives bills before, but pointed out that the GOP-led Ohio legislature could override any veto.
In February 2020, Powell stated, “The Save Women’s Sports Act is a fairness issue for women. This bill ensures that every little girl who works hard to make it on a podium is not robbed of her chance by a biological male competing against her in a biological female sport. We want every little girl to achieve her athletic dream here in the state of Ohio.”