On Feb. 3, the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee held a hearing on the confirmation of Connecticut Commissioner of Education Miguel Cardona to be Secretary of Education.
During the event, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) "used the entirety of his time to spread misinformation about transgender people participating in sports," according to a Human Rights Campaign (HRC) press release.
HRC spokesperson Lucas Acosta said, in part, "There are thousands of issues facing students across the country during the pandemic, from reopening schools and restarting in-person learning to addressing and protecting the mental health of our children. Yet, despite all of those pressing crises, Sen. Rand Paul chose to exclusively use all of his allotted time to attack transgender children: misgendering, spewing misinformation, and insinuating malintent among children who are just seeking to participate in sports. It is disgraceful that Sen. Paul is choosing to fearmonger in order to score political points at the expense of some of our community's most vulnerable."
Forbes reported that Paul described the concept of students competing with their corresponding gender identity as "bizarre" and repeatedly mislabeled transgender girls as "boys." U.S Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) echoed Paul's concerns about transgender women competing in women's' sports, saying, "I've got pictures of my eight granddaughters, among some grandsons, behind me. ... They shouldn't be competing with people who are physiologically in an entirely different category."
Acosta added in the HRC release that "Secretary-designate Cardona spoke to the truth of the matter: our laws should and do protect LGBTQ people from discrimination. We need a Secretary of Education who will fight for every kid, no matter their gender identity. That person is Secretary-designate Miguel Cardona."