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Trump administration attacks transgender students – again – saying trans-inclusive sports teams violate girls’ civil rights

Vic Parsons May 29, 2020

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

Connecticut’s trans-inclusive school sports policy violates the right of cisgender girls, the Trump administration has said.

The Department of Education made the declaration in a 45-page letter obtained by the Associated Press.

In the letter, the department’s civil rights office says it may seek to withhold federal funding from The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference over its policy, which supports trans-inclusive school sports by backing trans students playing on the team corresponding to their gender.

The letter, dated May 15, says that allowing trans girls to play on girls sports teams has “denied female student-athletes athletic benefits and opportunities, including advancing to the finals in events, higher level competitions, awards, medals, recognition, and the possibility of greater visibility to colleges and other benefits”.

Trump administration wants trans kids to be misgendered in school sports.

The Department of Education joins the Justice Department, which in March 2019 declared that trans girls should be treated as “biological males” when playing school sports.

Both departments were responding to a federal discrimination complaint filed last year by three high-school students who claim that two trans girls have an unfair physical advantage over them in athletics competitions.

“All that today’s finding represents is yet another attack from the Trump administration on transgender students,” said Chase Strangio of the ACLU.

“Trans students belong in our schools, including on sports teams, and we aren’t backing down from this fight,” he added.

 Students who identify as female are to be recognised as female for all purposes.

The three cis girls are also challenging the trans athletes in a lawsuit, which has been filed on their behalf by evangelical Christian law firm Alliance Defending Freedom, a Southern Poverty Law Centre designated anti-LGBT+ hate group that seeks undermine and roll back LGBT+ rights and access to abortion.

The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference says its trans-inclusive policy complies with state law, which prohibits schools from discriminating against students for being trans.

“Connecticut law is clear and students who identify as female are to be recognised as female for all purposes — including high school sports,” the athletic conference said in a statement.

“To do otherwise would not only be discriminatory but would deprive high school students of the meaningful opportunity to participate in educational activities, including inter-scholastic sports, based on sex-stereotyping and prejudice sought to be prevented by Title IX and Connecticut state law.”

 

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