Thousands of excited athletes will run through the streets of Boston today after qualifying for its prestigious marathon but an ongoing controversy still lurks in the background.
OneNewsNow has reported that the historic race is allowing transgendered women – men who claim they are women – to run alongside biological women despite the athletes' obvious physical differences.
The Boston Herald has reported that five openly transgendered women signed up, the most to date, and the Boston Athletic Association has defended that allowance on the grounds of tolerance for homosexuals.
"I think it's a misguided attempt at inclusion that isn't very well thought through," says Bridget Fay of Keep MA Safe, a conservative organization that often fights progressives in the "blue" state.
Fay, herself a long-distance runner who has completed half-marathons, says the Boston Marathon's own rules give women a half-hour on their qualifying times versus men who are the same age.
"And that is simply because if you didn't do that, and if you required everybody to qualify at the same time," she says, "there would be very, very few women who would be able to compete against men."
The best women's time for the Boston Marathon is approximately 16 minute's behind the best men's time, OneNewsNow also pointed out last week.
The story by the Herald included the views of a biology professor who pointedly told the newspaper that testosterone makes men stronger and faster than women, while a researcher for an LGBT organization claimed it's a "myth" to suggest testosterone gives men an advantage.
Because of her own interest in running, Fay says what the BAA is doing matters to her personally.
"I think the Boston Athletic Association is attempting to be inclusive," she observes, "but it's much easier for men to run a lot faster than it is for women, and they're not using any objective standards. It's simply self-identification and I think that is unfair to women."
Asked about the future of the Boston Marathon, Fay says it's too late to make changes for 2018 but in future years the BAA has to create a better standard.