Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, a Democratic candidate running to represent Washington’s third congressional district, was asked this week about biological males competing in girls sports, surprising some with her response. 

Her Republican opponent, Joe Kent, tweeted a video of her answering a question during a debate with Kent. A woman in the audience asked her about boy playing on girls’ sports teams, and continued to press for a definitive answer. 

“Do you support biological males competing in biological female sports?” she was asked. 

Perez paused before answering the question, as audience members began to react. 

“Um, I think, that is — the — it’s complicated, it depends, when did they transition? What are their hormone levels?” she answered. “I mean, when you really look at — athletes have all different natural hormone levels so it is a nuanced question.”

The woman in the audience asked, “So yes, you do support that?”

“It depends on the scenario,” Perez answered as people in the crowd shouted for her to answer yes or no. 

“We’re faced with situations where it’s either a yes or no,” the woman who asked the question continued. “Either the biological male competes or the biological male does not compete with women and so we have to make that decision.”

“Yeah,” Perez answered, “I don’t think you’re understanding the nuance of these issues.”

Last week, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) campaigned for Kent in Washington, although Kent has been outspoken against Republican leadership in the past. Kent took on incumbent Republican Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler and beat her in the primary. 

“The Republicans … the corporate GOP, they’re absolute snakes and we need to root them out,” Kent said at a town hall in July. “We have Kevin McCarthy, Mitch McConnell, these guys really want to see Jaime Herrera Beutler go forward. … They want to be able to say ‘Hey, this Trump America First thing, that was a flash in the pan.’”

Kent changed his position and said in October that he will back McCarthy if he is the only Republican candidate suitable to be House Majority Leader. 

“I feel that my job and everybody else in the America First movement, our job with speaker McCarthy is to say ‘Hey, we’re here to support you and we want you to be successful,’” Kent said at an October event. “But you need to reflect these priorities.”

Several states have passed laws to protect girls’ sports at the high school and college level as the transgender movement pushes to allow children to play on teams based on their gender expression. 

According to Save Women’s Sports, there have been bills in almost every state to safeguard female athletes, and eighteen of them have turned into laws.

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