This Court Just Dismissed a Lawsuit Filed to Stop Florida’s Fairness in Women’s Sports Act

Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida signed the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act into law in 2021. Male athletes pretending to be women can’t join sports teams designated for female athletes.

A boy pretending to be a girl filed a lawsuit against the state on Equal Protection grounds. He asked the court to overturn the law.

Selina Soule, who ran track at a high school Connecticut with two boys on the team, witnessed Gov. DeSantis signing the bill and asked a court to allow her to intervene in the lawsuit.

Soule lost opportunities because the two boys won all the races. She said she’d trained for years to be the best, and she was one of the top five female sprinters in the state. Soule and a group of high school track runners filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education and a federal lawsuit against Connecticut over its policy that allows boys to compete on girls’ teams.

Alliance Defending Freedom, which represents Soule, announced that a court rejected the plaintiff’s request to overturn the law and dismissed his lawsuit against the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act.

The court contended (PDF) that the law did not violate the plaintiff’s rights and Florida’s sex-based classifications “substantially serve the state’s important interest in protecting and promoting athletic opportunities for girls.” (emphasis added)

Ignoring differences between men and women when it comes to sports teams would be the real violation of the Equal Protection Clause.

“I was forced to compete against two biological males in track and field in Connecticut,” Soule said. “I want to ensure no other girl experiences the emotional pain and lost opportunities I experienced in high school. As the court affirmed in this case, there are clear biological differences between men and women.”

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