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Trans competition is discriminatory, say teens backed by anti-abortion lawyers

Vic Parsons June 20, 2019

Selina Soule, one of the girls challenging Connecticut's trans-inclusive athletics policy. (Alliance Defending Freedom)

Three high-school students in Connecticut have filed a federal discrimination complaint challenging the state’s policy of letting trans students compete on sports teams according to their gender identity.

The complaint was filed on behalf of the three girls on Monday (June 17) by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a conservative Christian organisation in the US that has also filed over 40 cases against Planned Parenthood.

Their complaint to the US Department of Education alleges that Connecticut’s policy violates Title IX, the federal civil-rights law that is meant to ensure students have equal access to opportunities regardless of their sex.

The complaint, which refers to trans girls as “biological males,” says that trans athletes should not be allowed to compete in the category corresponding to their gender identity because it’s unfair to cisgender girls.

Eliza Byard, executive director of GLSEN, a group dedicated to rights for LGBT+ students, said to CNN, “This is a serious lawsuit brought about by a parent and the Alliance Defending Freedom as part of a broader effort to bar trans students from equal access in sports.”

“Trans girls are girls, and they should have access to all parts of school,” Byard said.

All three girls making the complaint are teen track athletes. Two are unnamed and the third is Selina Soule.

“Girls deserve to compete on a level playing field. Forcing female athletes to compete against boys is grossly unfair and destroys their athletic opportunities,” said Christiana Holcomb, a lawyer with ADF, in an online statement.

Title IX was designed to eliminate discrimination against women in education and athletics, and women fought long and hard to earn the equal athletic opportunities that Title IX provides. Allowing boys to compete in girls’ sports reverses nearly 50 years of advances for women under this law. We shouldn’t force these young women to be spectators in their own sports.”

ADF have other anti-trans lawsuits

The ADF’s mission statement is “defending religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family.”

Its website says, “The abortion industry has been profiting from the deaths of infants for over 40 years,” and adds that the “good news” is that “a surging pro-life movement has forced the closure of 75 percent of surgical abortion businesses in America.”

Another lawsuit related to trans issues is detailed on ADF’s website in a post called “Two recent victims of the transgender movement.”

The lawsuit was filed by the ADF in November 2018 on behalf of a male professor who was given a written warning by a university for refusing to use she/her pronouns for a student who had informed him she was a trans woman.

“This isn’t just about a pronoun; this is about endorsing an ideology,” said Tyson Langhofer, a lawyer for ADF.

Complaint calls for ban on transgender students in girls sports

The high schoolers complaint in Connecticut calls for an investigation of Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC), the non-profit organisation responsible for high-school athletics regulations.

It also demands that trans girls track records are removed and for them to be denied access to women’s sports in Connecticut.

CIAC says that its policy follows a state-wide anti-discrimination law that requires students to be treated in school as the gender they identify with.

“The CIAC reviewed our transgender policy with the Office of Civil Rights in Boston earlier this school year to ensure compliance with Title IX,” said Glenn Lungarini, executive director of CIAC.

“In addition to reviewing the policy with our legal counsel, the CIAC also discussed our current policy with Connecticut’s Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities to ensure compliance with Connecticut legislation protecting students (and others) in their gender expression and identity.”

More: Alliance Defending Freedom, anti-abortion, Connecticut

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