MADISON — Riley Gaines headlined the Moms For Liberty dinner at Toyota Field in Madison on Saturday night to a crowd of approximately 200 guests.

The event titled "For Such A Time As This" was emceed by 1819 News' Allison Sinclair, and speakers included Madison Moms for Liberty president Emily Jones, State Rep. Susan DuBose (R-Hoover) and U.S. Rep Dale Strong (R-Monrovia).

Sinclair started the evening by thanking all the sponsors and guests attending and "being willing to stand in the gaps for truth for our kids and what is right."

Jones spoke first, discussing how Moms for Liberty is just a group of moms trying to stand up for kids and how some view that as controversial could not ever make sense to her.

"I have always said and will always say that God called me to this fight," she told the crowd. "I know he called me to this fight for me as a person, a mother, and for my child."

Jones also called out Madison City Schools, saying part of her nine-year-old son's curriculum contained a book called "Jack not Jackie," which is a book that promotes gender transition in a child. Jones and Sinclair both praised DuBose for her work in the legislature.

DuBose said that she was grateful to be there with like-minded conservatives and fellow moms working to ensure the world is a better place for kids. DuBose brought two guests, both swimmers from Birmingham-Southern College who had just finished their swim season, team captain Chloe Carnignan and Clare Sprinkle.

DuBose said, "Although Congress passed Title IX over 50 years ago to guarantee equal access to education for women. Over the past several decades, bureaucrats from the Department of Education have unconstitutionally twisted the law beyond recognition."

DuBose has filed a "Woman's Bill of Rights" bill in the legislature with the assistance of Riley Gaines which she says will improve upon the bill she passed in the last legislative session to codify the definitions of the male and female sexes in the law.

Strong spoke briefly and introduced Gaines at the event.

He said, "As a parent of two children, I cannot tell you how worried I am by what is being forced on their generation and where it is leading this country." He mentioned the issue of men in women's locker rooms and how he wouldn't want his daughter or anyone to have to experience that. Strong said, "women and girls' sports are being kicked to the curb for the radical trans agenda."

Strong added that he and Gaines met when she came and testified before the House Homeland Security Committee.

"I'll never forget this as long as I live," he emphasized. "She brought several friends with her, and the other side of the aisle asked some awful questions."

He said that at the end, the chairman asked, "Congressman Strong do you have another question? I know you have stayed the entire hearing."

Strong recalled that he replied, "No, I am staying out of respect for Riley Gaines because she has been treated awfully up here by the other side of the aisle."

The North Alabama Republican concluded by saying, "I want to thank you, Riley, for what you have done for young women and young ladies throughout this country."

To a roaring applause, Gaines took to the stage. She said she had felt an immense amount of support in the room, much more than before the Homeland Security Committee. She took a shot at the House members who tried to intimidate her by saying, "You guys think you're intimidating; you're really not."

She said she was there to discuss her experience at San Francisco State University, where she went to share a message that was similar to the one she was delivering in Madison. Upon delivering her speech in San Francisco, hundreds of protesters entered the room, shutting out the lights, and began to attack her by punching and shoving her. Gaines said of the incident, "Fortunately for me, men in dresses punches don't hurt that bad."

Gaines discussed the extreme amount of training and dedication that swimmers at that level must conduct to perform at the top levels while also completing a college degree. She said she was in the water six hours a day, starting at 5 a.m. to 8 a.m., going to breakfast, school, back in the water at 1:30-4:30 p.m., eating dinner, and going to bed.

Gaines discussed how she first discovered that she would compete against a male. She said in her senior year that she had set a goal of winning a national title, and midway through her senior year, she was on track to achieve that goal. She said that she was third in the nation, and she knew the girl who was second place well, and she was beating Gaines just by hundredths of a second. However, the first-place swimmer leading the nation by body lengths was a swimmer that no one had ever heard of, and this was the first time she had heard of Lia Thomas.

She said learning that Lia Thomas was actually Will Thomas was naturally shocking. She said she looked up his records and realized that he was a mediocre male swimmer at best, ranking 462nd in the nation the year before when competing as a male, to not just winning in the women's category but dominating.

She said she thought the NCAA would see that this was obviously unfair, but that did not happen. The NCAA three weeks prior to the national championship that Lia Thomas competing was non-negotiable, and they were expected to accept that with a smile on their face.

She said she could attest to herself and most women competing and their families who had worked so hard only to miss out on being an All-American due to Lia Thomas.

She said she can also wholeheartedly attest to the extreme discomfort in the locker room "when you turn around, and there is a 6' 4" 22-year-old man exposing his penis inches from where you are simultaneously undressing." She said she could also attest to the anger and frustration of girls who, just like herself, had spent their entire lives getting to this meet.

Gaines raced Thomas in the 200-meter freestyle, and by pure luck, as swimming is measured to the 100th of a second, she had tied with Thomas, to which Gaines said, "which is incredibly embarrassing for a 6'4 man."

Gaines said they went to the awards podium, and the NCAA official congratulated both of them and informed Gaines that they only had one trophy, and it would go to Thomas. At that moment, she said the first thing she thought was, "Isn't this everything that Title IX was passed to prevent from happening? What do you mean you're giving a man the woman's trophy for the 200m freestyle?"

According to the swimmer, the official had no answer for her at first but eventually said that they had been advised that when photos are being taken, it's crucial that the trophy is in Thomas' hands.

Gaines said that was when she decided that all this was wrong. From the entire season to that meet, the locker room and the entire situation were wrong. It was all done to validate a man's feelings at everyone else's expense.

She said that is when she decided to try to make a change; thinking, how in the world can we as women expect someone to stand up for women if we are unwilling to stand up for ourselves?

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