The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit heard arguments in Soule v. Connecticut Association of Schools, which involves four women who ran track in high school in Connecticut.
Selina Soule, Alanna Smith, Chelsea Mitchell, and Ashley Nicoletti filed a lawsuit against the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference’s policy that allows boys to compete against girls on sports teams. These female athletes consistently lost races to boys allowed to join the girls’ team.
Soule, for instance, failed to qualify for the 2019 state championship and the 55-meter dash because of the boys. She said she competed against them over a dozen times and lost. Smith said that in her freshman year of high school, competing against two males “was just really demoralizing to know that all of my hard work and all the other female athletes’ hard work wasn’t paying off.” These women knew going into the race that they were not competing for first place.
A federal judge last April dismissed their lawsuit. The court contended that there is no dispute, because the two boys have graduated, and the plaintiffs couldn’t identify other “transgender” athletes on the team. But the issue isn’t a procedural matter. These women are fighting to protect other women as well.
“Girls deserve the same opportunity as boys to excel in athletics,” Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel Christiana Kiefer said. “Allowing boys to compete in girls’ sports, as we see happening in Connecticut and elsewhere, deprives girls of the opportunity to be champions, showcase their talents, and potentially earn college scholarships. All female athletes deserve to compete on a fair playing field, and we are urging the court to ensure respect for their right to equal treatment and opportunity in sports.”
Title IX of the federal court guarantees equal opportunity for women in education, and allowing boys on girls’ sports teams, does not provide equal opportunity. Males generally are larger, stronger, and faster than girls.
The Biden administration redefined “on the basis of sex” in the law to include “gender identity.” Congress has not amended this law to add sexual orientation or “gender identity.”
The Trump administration supported these women. Soule and others had also filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, which found that the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference’s “transgender” policy violated Title IX. The U.S. Department of Justice submitted a statement of interest in the case that said the organization was not interpreting federal law properly.
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