World Aquatics has announced an "open" category for trans-identified athletes to compete in order to provide "fair competition" for female athletes.
On Tuesday, the World Aquatics Congress held its General Congress 2023 in Fukuoka, Japan, where its president, Husain Al-Musallam, announced the creation of an "enclosure policy" a year after the organization revised its "gender inclusion policy" to keep biological males identifying as female from competing with biological women.
In a speech, Al-Musallam explained the organization has "protected the rights of our female athletes by creating an enclosure policy that has become the template which many other international [federations] are following." He hopes the "enclosure policy" would protect "fair competition for our female athletes."
"There should be no discrimination," he contended.
"Nobody should be excluded from our competitions, "Al-Musallam said. "This is why I announced last year that I would set up a committee to look at the best way to implement an open category."
"The committee work is not finished," he continued. "This is a very complex topic. But I am delighted to tell you today that we are now making...plans for the first trial of an open category, and we hope to be able to confirm all the details soon. Our sport must be for everybody."
In a study published December 2020, the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that trans-identified males continued to hold an advantage over biological females despite taking feminizing hormones for a year.
Lia Thomas, a trans-identified swimmer formerly known as Will, made national headlines for breaking women's swimming records and becoming a national champion after switching to the women's swimming team at the University of Pennsylvania after competing on the men's team for three seasons.
At present, at least 22 U.S. states have enacted laws calling for athletes to compete in accordance with their biological sex, including Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
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Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.