Yesterday, The U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut dismissed a case brought by four female high school athletes challenging the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) policy which allows biological males to compete on female sports teams. The four athletes are represented by our friends at Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), and have announced that they will appeal this district court ruling.
In June 2019, ADF and its clients submitted a complaint about the CIAC policy to the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. Next, in February of last year, ADF filed a federal lawsuit against the CIAC on behalf of the four female athletes. The Department of Education responded to the complaint in May 2020, finding that the CIAC’s policy violated Title IX, the federal law that was passed in 1972 and protects the equal educational opportunities for women, opening athletics up to women in a way that did not exist prior to its passage. ADF and their clients argue that the CIAC’s statewide policy violates Title IX, as it has allowed biological males to compete on women’s sports teams and to win 15 state titles that were previously held by girls. This has cost female high school athletes medals, championships, and scholarships.
Unfortunately, under the new Biden administration this year, the Department of Education withdrew its support for ADF’s case and its clients. The federal district court followed suit, as it dismissed the lawsuit yesterday. In the district court’s ruling, District Judge Robert Chatigny said that “there is no indication that [ADF’s clients] will face competition by a transgender student next season.” Furthermore, he wrote, “Courts across the country have consistently held that Title IX requires schools to treat transgender students consistent with their gender identity.”
Not only do these statements ignore the damage that has already been done to these female athletes, but they also ignore the biological and physiological differences between men and women, which become even more apparent in athletic competition. (For more information on biological males in female sports, read NC Family’s feature article in our Summer 2020 Edition of Family North Carolina magazine: “Pink or Blue? Guiding Parents Through the Transgender Issue.”)
ADF announced today that it would appeal the federal district court ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2ndCircuit. “Our clients—like all female athletes—deserve access to fair competition; that means authentically equal opportunities to compete, achieve, and win,” said ADF Legal Counsel Christiana Holcomb.
“Female athletes like me should have the opportunity to excel and compete fairly,” said ADF client Chelsea Mitchell. “No girl should have to settle into her starting blocks knowing that, no matter how hard she works, she doesn’t have a fair shot at victory.”
~ Photo Credit to Alliance Defending Freedom ~