The Justice Department is supporting a lawsuit filed by an anti-LGBTQ hate group to ban transgender girls from competing in high school sports.
Last month, the families of three girls who compete in track and field in Connecticut filed a federal lawsuit with help from the SPLC designated hate group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). The lawsuit alleges that the cisgender girls’ Title IX protections are being violated because they are forced to compete against transgender girls.
Transgender girls, the plaintiffs contend, have such an advantage at sports that “we know the outcome before the race even starts.”
The heart of ADF’s claim is that transgender girls are actually “biological males,” which means that the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) – which governs the state’s high school athletics and has a policy of allowing transgender students to compete as their gender identity – is taking away opportunities from cisgender girls by allowing “biological males” to compete in girls’ sports.
CIAC, though, claims that its policy is in line with Title IX – banning some girls from competing in girls’ sports because of their sex assigned at birth would, in fact, be discrimination because of sex.
Now the Trump administration is getting involved in the suit, the AP reports. Yesterday, Attorney General William Barr filed a statement of interest in the ADF’s lawsuit supporting the group’s claims.
“Under CIAC’s interpretation of Title IX, however, schools may not account for the real physiological differences between men and women,” the statement of interest reads.
The Justice Department’s statement echoes the ADF’s language in referring to transgender girls as “biological males,” saying that the policy “deprives those [cisgender] women of the single-sex athletic competitions that are one of the marquee accomplishments of Title IX.”
CIAC Executive Director Glenn Lungarini defended the trans-inclusive policy, saying that state and federal legal guidance says that the word “sex” in Title IX has an ambiguous meaning and that the ADF’s interpretation of the word “has not kept pace with contemporary science, advances in medical knowledge, and societal norms.”
The ACLU, which is representing two black transgender girls in Connecticut who have been the main targets of anti-transgender sentiment in the state, decried the Trump administration’s actions.
“Our clients are two high school seniors who are just trying to enjoy their final track season of high school and who now have to contend with the federal government arguing against their right to equal educational opportunities,” said Deputy Director for Trans Justice at the ACLU’s LGBT & HIV Project Chase Strangio.
“History will look back on these anti-trans attacks with deep regret and shame. In the meantime, we will continue to fight for the rights of all girls to participate in the sports they love.”
This year’s track and field season is currently on hold in Connecticut due to the coronavirus pandemic.