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International

William ‘Lia’ Thomas loses challenge to rule banning him from women’s Olympic contests

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From LifeSiteNews

By Calvin Freiburger

A Court of Arbitration for Sport panel ruled that William ‘Lia’ Thomas, a male swimmer who ‘identifies’ as female, lacked standing to challenge World Aquatics rules on males competing against women.

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland has rejected gender-confused former University of Pennsylvania swimmer William “Lia” Thomas’s bid to change World Aquatic rules to allow himself and other female-“identifying” male athletes from competing against actual women in major athletic competitions such as the upcoming Summer Olympics.

Thomas, who “transitioned” to identifying as a female yet retains male genitalia and reportedly remained heterosexual (despite self-identifying as lesbian), has drawn headlines since 2022 for generating unease among his actual female teammates and opponents, partly due to having to share lockers and partly due to his domination of women’s swimming competitions since switching from the men’s team.

In January, word came out that Thomas and Canadian law firm Tyr were seeking to have the CAS overturn a rule imposed by the swim governing body forbidding any male who has experienced “any part of male puberty” from competing as a female, which in 2022 closed a loophole allowing “transgender” athletes to qualify by reducing their testosterone levels.

Thomas has said that “it’s been a goal of mine to swim at Olympic trials for a very long time.” World Aquatics executive director Brent Nowicki previously said only that the “World Aquatics policy on gender inclusion, adopted by World Aquatics in June of 2022, was rigorously developed on the basis of advice from leading medical and legal experts, and in careful consultation with athletes.”

On Wednesday, the Associated Press reports, a three-judge CAS panel released its ruling dismissing Thomas’s request, on the grounds that he lacked standing to make it because he had not been a member of the court’s member federation USA Swimming when it was first brought nor had he competed in female events “for the purpose of qualification or selection.”

World Aquatics hailed the ruling as “a major step forward in our efforts to protect women’s sport.”

Thomas slammed the decision as “deeply disappointing,” criticizing bans on so-called “trans women” (gender-confused men) competing against actual women as an affront to gender-confused “identities.”

Several nationally-prominent female swimmers who have become outspoken advocates for maintaining sex distinctions in women’s athletics also welcomed the ruling:

There have been numerous high-profile examples in recent years of men winning women’s competitions, and research affirms that physiology gives males distinct athletic advantages that cannot be negated by hormone suppression.

In a 2019 paper published by the Journal of Medical Ethics, New Zealand researchers found that “healthy young men [do] not lose significant muscle mass (or power) when their circulating testosterone levels were reduced to (below International Olympic Committee guidelines) for 20 weeks,” and “indirect effects of testosterone” on factors such as bone structure, lung volume, and heart size “will not be altered” by hormone use; therefore, “the advantage to [gender-confused men] afforded by the [International Olympic Committee] guidelines is an intolerable unfairness.”

Critics also warn that forcing girls to share intimate facilities such as bathrooms, showers, or changing areas with members of the opposite sex violates their privacy rights, subjects them to needless emotional stress, and gives potential male predators a viable pretext to enter female bathrooms or lockers by simply claiming transgender status.

Thomas has become perhaps the most prominent example of the phenomenon. Former teammates have reportedly been intimidated into silence about their objections to Thomas by officials at Ivy League schools and by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), though some have spoken out anonymously, describing Thomas as thoroughly dismissive of the feelings or interests of his teammates.

Some of his opponents have been more willing or able to go public, such as Gaines, who has openly discussed the experience of tying with Thomas for fifth place at the NCAA championships’ 200 freestyle competition in 2022. Despite both swimmers performing the same, Thomas was given a trophy to pose with for photos and Gaines had to settle for one mailed to her.

“It was at this point I realized that they’re trying to save face here,” she told the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2022. “I actually talked with a swimmer who is a survivor of sexual trauma, and being in the locker room with a male and seeing male parts has completely retriggered everything.”

International

Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle resigns after major backlash over Trump assassination attempt

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United Sates Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle testifies before the House Oversight and Accountability Committee during a hearing at the Rayburn House Office Building on July 22, 2024 in Washington, DC.
Kent Nishimura/Getty Images

From LifeSiteNews

By Emily Mangiaracina

Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle has finally announced she will step down after being roundly slammed by a bipartisan committee during a congressional hearing for her failure to prevent the assassination attempt on Donald Trump.

U.S. Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle has stepped down amid resounding, bipartisan calls for her resignation by congressmen following the assassination attempt on former President Donald Trump.

Three sources confirmed to NBC that Cheatle officially resigned on Tuesday morning. In her letter of resignation, shared by a senior official, Cheatle wrote that she takes “full responsibility for the security lapse.”

“In light of recent events, it is with a heavy heart that I have made the difficult decision to step down as your Director,” she wrote.

President Joe Biden said in a statement following Cheatle’s announcement of her resignation that he will appoint a new head of Secret Service “soon.” He has ordered an “independent review” to investigate the day’s events.

In response to Cheatle’s resignation, Trump wrote on Truth Social: “The Biden/Harris Administration did not properly protect me, and I was forced to take a bullet for Democracy. IT WAS MY GREAT HONOR TO DO SO!”

Her decision comes a day after being grilled under subpoena by Republican and Democrat members of the House Oversight Committee, who ripped her both for the grave Secret Service lapse that allowed Trump to be shot and for her refusal to answer simple questions during the hearing.

The leading Democrat member of the panel, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), accused Cheatle of having “lost the confidence of Congress at a very urgent and tender moment in the history of the country.”

​​Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) slammed Cheatle as “full of s***” and “completely dishonest” for not giving direct answers to questions, including about providing “audio and video recordings” in her possession that were taken the day of the Trump assassination attempt.

“How did a 20-year-old loner with a week’s notice pick the absolute best location to assassinate President Trump when the entire Secret Service missed it?” asked Rep. Pat Fallon, R-Texas. “Director Cheatle, on your leadership, your agency got outsmarted and outmaneuvered by a 20-year-old. How can we have any confidence that you could stop trained professionals from a nefarious nation state?”

The Secret Service director was unable to provide explanations as to why the roof used by Crooks to shoot at Trump was not secured the day of the shooting and why Trump was allowed to speak on stage while the Secret Service was aware that a suspicious man was present on the grounds that day. At one point, she claimed she did not “have the timeline of how the individual accessed the roof, where they accessed the roof, or how long they were on the roof.”

She said, however, that all the security resources requested “for that day” were provided.

Cheatle resisted calls to resign prior to Tuesday, with a Secret Service spokesperson declaring last week that she had no intention to resign even after mounting calls for her to step down.

Critics across the board have described the security breach at Trump’s Pennsylvania campaign rally as a “catastrophic failure” of the Secret Service. Video footage emerged online of attendees from the Trump rally alerting police to the gunman, 20-year-old Thomas Matthew Crooks, positioned on a roof toward the rally stage, highlighting one of many security failures that day to prevent the assassination attempt. One man present that day told the BBC he was “pointing” at the gunman on the roof for two or three minutes.

Counter-snipers fatally shot Crooks after one of his shots grazed the former president’s right ear, bloodying him. However, Crooks killed a rally attendee, identified as 50-year old Corey Comperatore, a former fire chief. Two other Pennsylvania residents were shot, but are reportedly in stable condition.

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Health

UK report debunks claim that halting puberty blockers increases suicide in gender-confused youth

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From LifeSiteNews

By Jonathon Van Maren

For more than a decade, the transgender movement has used a potent lie to blackmail desperate parents and feckless politicians into accepting their agenda: that if gender-confused children are not provided with sex changes – “gender-affirming care” – they will be at a high risk for suicide. Parent after parent heard the simple, deceitful question, posed to them by trans activist medical professionals: “Would you rather have a dead daughter, or a live son?” 

Yet another review highlights that this claim is completely baseless. As the BBC reported on July 20: “There is no evidence of a large rise in suicides in young patients attending a gender identity clinic in London, an independent review has found.” 

The report, titled “Review of suicides and gender dysphoria at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust: independent report,” was published by the U.K. government on July 19. Professor Louis Appleby was tasked by Health Secretary Wes Streeting to examine the evidence after LGBT activists claimed that suicide rates were spiking due to restrictions on puberty blockers, which were first implemented in 2020. The review concluded: 

  1. The data do not support the claim that there has been a large rise in suicide in young gender dysphoria patients at the Tavistock. 
  1. The way that this issue has been discussed on social media has been insensitive, distressing and dangerous, and goes against guidance on safe reporting of suicide. 
  1. The claims that have been placed in the public domain do not meet basic standards for statistical evidence. 
  1. There is a need to move away from the perception that puberty-blocking drugs are the main marker of non-judgemental acceptance in this area of health care. 
  2. We need to ensure high quality data in which everyone has confidence, as the basis of improved safety for this at risk group of young people. 

This review is devastating to virtually every single claim trans activists have been making – and Appleby even notes, in point two of his summary, that trans activists themselves are posing a real danger to gender-confused children with their irresponsible lies about suicidality. Suicide, as we have long known, is a social contagion – and trans activists are explicitly encouraging gender-confused children to claim suicidal ideation in order to acquire puberty blockers.  

As the BBC reported: “The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said it was vital that public discussion around the issue was handled responsibly.” It is difficult to read that statement as anything but a direct rebuke of trans activists. Appleby, a professor of psychiatry and experienced suicide researcher from the University of Manchester, warned that trans activist rhetoric could actually lead to adolescents copycatting that behavior. “One risk is that young people and their families will be terrified by predictions of suicide as inevitable without puberty blockers – some of the responses on social media show this,” he said. As the BBC noted: 

In response to [trans activist] claims, the new health secretary launched an independent review led by Prof Appleby which analysed data from NHS England on suicides of patients at the Tavistock clinic, based on an audit at the trust.

Covering the period between 2018-19 and 2023-24, he found there were 12 suicides – five in the three years leading up to 2020-21 and seven in the three years afterwards.

‘This is essentially no difference,’ Prof Appleby says in his report, ‘taking account of expected fluctuations in small numbers, and would not reach statistical significance.’

He adds: ‘In the under 18s specifically, there were 3 suicides before and 3 after 2020-21.’

The Good Law Project, run by executive director Jo Maugham, is currently challenging the puberty blocker ban – and predictably, Maugham expressed his disagreement with the review, saying that he had “profound difficulties” with it. It likely will make little difference. In the U.K., the transgender narrative is in tatters – and leaders still parroting these debunked lines should take note. 

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Jonathon’s writings have been translated into more than six languages and in addition to LifeSiteNews, has been published in the National PostNational ReviewFirst Things, The Federalist, The American Conservative, The Stream, the Jewish Independent, the Hamilton SpectatorReformed Perspective Magazine, and LifeNews, among others. He is a contributing editor to The European Conservative.

His insights have been featured on CTV, Global News, and the CBC, as well as over twenty radio stations. He regularly speaks on a variety of social issues at universities, high schools, churches, and other functions in Canada, the United States, and Europe.

He is the author of The Culture WarSeeing is Believing: Why Our Culture Must Face the Victims of AbortionPatriots: The Untold Story of Ireland’s Pro-Life MovementPrairie Lion: The Life and Times of Ted Byfield, and co-author of A Guide to Discussing Assisted Suicide with Blaise Alleyne.

Jonathon serves as the communications director for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

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