.grecaptcha-badge { visibility: hidden; }
Close this search box.

WEATHER ALERT: Severe storms expected late this afternoon and evening

Miller lashes out at Pritzker, Springfield YMCA on House Floor

Rep. Mary Miller, R-Ill., a member of the House Freedom Caucus, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, July 14, 2023.

WASHINGTON – An Illinois congresswoman is speaking out against the state’s more inclusive policies for transgender youth.

Rep. Mary Miller (R), who represents Illinois’s 15th Congressional district, brought the issue to the floor of the US House of Representatives.

“I rise to defend our daughter’s right to privacy and safety,” announced Miller.

She’s talking about a case involving a young girl at the YMCA in Springfield.

“This spring, a 16-year-old girl swimming for a local swim team in my district was banned from the YMCA for speaking out against men undressing in the girl’s locker room. My constituent Abigail was simply exercising her right to privacy and safety,” said Miller.

At a rally in July, Abigail Wheeler says she only saw a person changing in the lockerroom.  

“To be clear, I did not see the man naked and no male genitalia was exposed, however, I did see the man changing in the women’s locker room. After seeing the man, I was scared and upset,” said Wheeler at rally reported by WCIA-TV.

The issue is whether transgender athletes should be able to access bathrooms and locker rooms that coincide with their gender identity, rather than their gender at birth.

 “The YMCA should immediately reverese their decision,” said Miller.

WCIA-TV reports the YMCA released emails showing the Wheeler family removed their daughter from the swim team and ended their membership at the facility.

Miller also took aim at Illinois’ Democratic Governor for supporting transgender rights.

“Governor [JB] Pritzker continues to promote policies that put our daughters at risk,” said Miller.

The governor recently signed into law, two measures aimed at safeguarding the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, even as other states move to restrict rights. It is an issue that echoes in state houses across the country, and in the nation’s capital.

In fact, the US House of Representative recently passed a Defense bill. It includes several amendments deemed too controversial to even be considered in the Senate. Among them: amendments that target transgender care, and diversity and inclusion initiatives in the Department of Defense.

Rep. Adam Smith (D-Washington) described the House bill as one that pushes, what he calls, in his words, “an agenda rooted in racism, misogyny, bigotry, ignorance and hatred.”

Reginald Hardwick contributed to this story.

Picture of Reginald Hardwick

Reginald Hardwick

Reginald Hardwick is the News & Public Affairs Director for the Illinois Newsroom. He started at WILL in October of 2019 after serving as News Director for WKAR in East Lansing, Michigan. Previously, he was a news producer and manager at the NBC station in Dallas, where he won 7 Emmy awards. Born in Vietnam, Reginald is a graduate of the University of Northern Colorado. Email: rh14@illinois.edu Twitter: @RNewsWILL

More Stories From Illinois Public Media