Per DailyNews, three Connecticut girls are suing to block transgender girls from competing in high school sports in the state. Attorney general William Barr’s Justice Department joined them Tuesday.
The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, which controls Connecticut high school sports, has a policy that athletes can compete under their gender identity. (This is also the policy for NCAA and Olympic sports, broadly. Those organizations require transgender women to reduce their testosterone levels to a certain point a year before competing.)
ABC News reports the U.S. Justice Department is getting involved in a federal civil rights lawsuit that seeks to block transgender athletes in Connecticut from competing as girls in interscholastic sports.
Attorney General William Barr signed what is known as a statement of interest Tuesday, arguing against the policy of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, the board that oversees the state’s high school athletic competitions.
The conference allows athletes to compete as the gender with which they identify, arguing it is following a state law that requires high school students be treated according to their gender identity. It also argues the policy is in accordance with Title IX, the federal law that allows girls equal educational opportunities, including in athletics.
The Justice Department, in its filing, disagrees.
“Under CIAC’s interpretation of Title IX, however, schools may not account for the real physiological differences between men and women. Instead, schools must have certain biological males — namely, those who publicly identify as female — compete against biological females,” Barr and the other department officials write. “In so doing, CIAC deprives those women of the single-sex athletic competitions that are one of the marquee accomplishments of Title IX.”
The lawsuit was filed in February by runners Selina Soule, a senior at Glastonbury High School; Chelsea Mitchell, a senior at Canton High School; and Alanna Smith, a sophomore at Danbury High School, against the conference and several local boards of education.
They argue they have been deprived of wins, state titles and athletic opportunities by being forced to compete against transgender athletes.
“Males will always have inherent physical advantages over comparably talented and trained girls — that’s the reason we have girls sports in the first place,” their attorney, Christiana Holcomb said Wednesday. “And a male’s belief about his gender doesn’t eliminate those advantages.”