World Swimming Right to Toss Dudes Out of Pool, Says American Family Association EVP

The new transgender ruling from the world governing body in swimming “makes so much sense,” said Ed Vitagliano, executive vice president of the American Family Association, on the Todd Starnes Show.


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In a 71.5 percent majority vote, FINA announced a decision to ban men who began transitioning into women after beginning puberty from competing in female swimming contests, according to NPR.

“That just makes so much sense,” Vitagliano said. “And it was by such a large margin, my normally pessimistic nature on these kinds of things, I’m thinking maybe they’ll stick to it, because they’re going to get blasted.”

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National radio host Todd Starnes agreed, pointing out that even Hillary Clinton said this was not the hill to die on for Democrats.

“We have to protect the rights of our athletes to compete, but we also have to protect competitive fairness at our events, especially the women’s category at FINA competitions,” FINA’s president, Husain Al-Musallam, said in an official statement.

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FINA defended their decision to institute this rule because of the unfair performance boost biological males receive from puberty.

“Without eligibility standards based on biological sex or sex-linked traits, we are very unlikely to see biological females in finals, on podiums, or in championship positions,” the policy states. “and in sports and events involving collisions and projectiles, biological female athletes would be at greater risk of injury.”


TODD STARNES: [00:03:08] I want to go to the Patriot Mobile Newsmaker Line, very excited to have a good friend of this program, he is the executive vice president of the American Family Association, just a great broadcaster in his own right. And honestly, I think this should have been the argument from the Texans is this issue of transgenderism. Ed Vitagliano joins us on the Patriot Mobile Newsmaker Line. Ed, hope you’re doing good today. [00:03:33][24.6]

ED VITAGLIANO: [00:03:34] I’m doing great, Todd. Thanks for having me on. [00:03:36][2.4]

STARNES: [00:03:37] You know, Ed, coming out just a little while ago, you had the world swimming governing body saying, yeah, we’re not going to let men compete with women in these swimming races. And it was refreshing to hear somebody weigh in with a dose of common sense on this issue. [00:03:58][21.1]

VITAGLIANO: [00:04:00] Absolutely. And, you know, in November of this past year, the International Olympic Committee kind of punted a little bit. And what they did was they said that the kind of global bodies overreach sport need to make this final decision on the transgender issue. And FINA seems to be the first one. I haven’t heard any of the others coming out, but its members voted almost 72% in favor of making this change, where they’re saying, listen, unless a swimmer began the transition process before age 12, that is before puberty, biological males cannot compete in women’s events. And that just makes so much sense. And it was by such a large margin, my normally pessimistic nature on these kinds of things, I’m thinking maybe they’ll stick to it, because they’re going to get blasted. [00:04:57][57.9]

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STARNES: [00:04:59] Well, and again, even Hillary Clinton, she was doing an interview over the weekend and she said, look, this is not the hill to die on, you know, going out there and calling, you know, J.K. Rowling the author of the Harry Potter series a fascist, because she believes that men are men and women are women. She says that’s not a winning formula. So even people as far left as Hillary Clinton understand the issue here, Ed [00:05:23][24.6]

VITAGLIANO: [00:05:25] Yeah, well, Todd, I think the problem for the Democratic Party is you have establishment types like obviously Hillary Clinton, who take a more pragmatic approach to politics. And someone like Hillary Clinton is going to say what is going to work in terms of the next election so we can get in and do what we believe is best for the country. And I disagree with Hillary Clinton on probably just about everything, but I agree with her on this, that the transgender movement represents such a tiny fraction of the American people, yet is such a dramatic departure from what a lot of people view as common sense. I think she’s exactly right. The problem for her is that her party, I won’t say it’s completely taken over by the pro trans kind of activists, but I think she’s going to get and other establishment types for the Democratic Party are going to get a lot of pushback from those who are committed to this issue and aren’t going to take pragmatic considerations into account. [00:06:30][65.1]

STARNES: [00:06:31] Ed, I’m curious what you guys are hearing from your constituents, the listeners of American Family Radio, because it seems as though this movement, this transgender movement, is really being birthed and grown within the public school system starting in preschool. [00:06:46][15.1]

VITAGLIANO: [00:06:48] Well, yeah, it really is. And I think this is part of the radical left’s movement in trying to completely overturn our foundational principles. They’re willing, of course, to work with adults and fight those battles on college and university campuses, you know, on PBS or what have you. But they also have an eye to the future. And I think it is clear with issues like the transgender movement, critical race theory and some of these others, that they intend to change the next generations of young people so that they become adults that they can count on to be supportive of their agenda. And we kind of saw this in the dust up over the Florida law. I think most Americans want to be compassionate towards people who are struggling with their gender. But parents have rights, too, especially when it comes to their own children. And that’s why you’re getting all this pushback. If there was a silver lining in the whole COVID shutdown, it clearly seems to be that parents, maybe for the first time, looking over their kid’s shoulders as their kids were learning remotely, started figuring out what their kids were being taught. And this pushback is not going to go away either. So, you’re going to have transgender activists who are going to continue to push hard in our public schools. But parents are beginning to fight back, and I don’t think that fight is going away either. [00:08:17][88.9]

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STARNES: [00:08:18] Ed Vitagliano is on our Patriot Mobile Newsmaker Line. He is executive vice president at the American Family Association. And this is no doubt, I mean, this is the culture war battle right here. And you’re dealing with kids, you’re dealing with, and if we were to believe the numbers, I think a survey came out last week and we were talking about it on the program where an overwhelming majority of the people who identify as transgender are under the age of 18, which again tells me this is about indoctrination, this is about grooming. How do you guys at AFR deal with this issue? It’s very sensitive, but at the same time, you’ve got to speak truth into the culture. [00:08:58][39.9]

VITAGLIANO: [00:09:00] Yeah, so we start with the kind of presupposition that a biological boy, for example, his belief about his gender may be what that individual thinks, but it’s not reality. At the same time and this is one of the reasons why we’re opposed to corporate woke pandering and virtue signaling is because there really are people who are struggling with their identity and feel lost. The answer isn’t to encourage them to continue, you know, kind of wandering aimlessly in the darkness of their delusion. That will only prolong their suffering. So, you know, we’re a Christian organization. We believe that the answer is the gospel and the love of God. And that’s the light that is going to help these lost individuals kind of find their way home and find the peace they desire. We made released in 2020 a movie called “In His Image.” People can watch it for free at inhisimage.movie, and it is our attempt to bring a biblical perspective on this very critical issue. And it’s done compassionately because these people, you know, they deserve to have the sympathy and support of people who do not want to see them harmed. But at the same time, what a person thinks in his or her mind is not necessarily reality to everyone else. And people who disagree have a right to express their opinion too. [00:10:39][98.8]

STARNES: [00:10:39] You see, and I’m so glad that you framed it like that, because we know that the mainstream media, they hate you guys, the leftists hate you guys, and they misconstrue what American Family Association is really all about. I think the approach that you guys have to these very important issues is not only admirable, but I think it’s also biblical and it’s filled with compassion and love for people. And I just really appreciate that. Ed, we’re going to let you go, but I got to brag on the brand new building and the facilities there at American Family Association are beautiful. And I know you guys have to be excited about the growth and the expansion after all these years. [00:11:20][40.8]

VITAGLIANO: [00:11:22] Yeah, we are the building is finished. We’re all moved in. Well, most of us, we still have a little bit of renovation going on in one of our older buildings. But for 40 years, the building across the street served us. But we have all kinds of leaks and part of the building was about to fall into the gully behind it. So it was time to kind of build for the next 40 years, and we’re grateful to God for His help in doing that. And like you, Todd, we have a heart for this nation and its people. And we’re just going to do what we can to speak the truth in love. [00:11:58][36.1]

STARNES: [00:11:59] And more importantly. Ed, how’s the AC? Is it holding up well? [00:12:02][3.6]

VITAGLIANO: [00:12:05] Yeah, AC is working working fine here. And listen, with all due respect to my forefathers, I don’t care if they think I’m a weenie. I love air conditioning, and it is really important. I know our ancestors, you know, kind of birthed this nation out of the heat and with the sweat of their brow, but I’m grateful for AC. [00:12:27][22.8]

STARNES: [00:12:28] Well said. Alright, Ed, well, look, always fun having you on and we got to get you back on. It’s been way too long and we appreciate the great work and the partnership we have with American Family Radio. [00:12:37][9.4]

VITAGLIANO: [00:12:38] And grateful for you too, Todd. Anytime you need me on, we’ll work it out. [00:12:42][3.3]

STARNES: [00:12:42] Alright, Ed Vitaliano is the executive VP over at American Family Association. Ed, God bless and stay cool down there in Tupelo, Mississippi. [00:12:49][7.2]

VITAGLIANO: [00:12:50] Same to you, brother. [00:12:51][0.5]

Todd’s new book about the socialist takeover of America makes an important addition to your library — Culture Jihad: How to Stop the Left From Killing a Nation. Available right now at ToddStarnes.com.

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