Four female high school athletes in Connecticut will appeal a federal district court ruling that allows transgender athletes to compete in women's sports.
The U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut dismissed on Sunday the plaintiffs' challenge to a Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference policy that allows athletes to compete in sports based on gender identity. The women claim they've been denied track and field titles and college scholarship opportunities because of the rule.
The Biden administration withdrew federal support for the Connecticut athletes in February, pursuant to President Joe Biden's executive order banning discrimination based on gender identity. Democrats have attempted to expand the Civil Rights Act to include transgender women in women's spaces. Opponents argue that doing so would eliminate protections for biological women.
"Our clients—like all female athletes—deserve access to fair competition; that means authentically equal opportunities to compete, achieve, and win," Alliance Defending Freedom legal counsel Christiana Holcomb said in a statement. "But competition is no longer fair when males are permitted to compete in girls' sports."
The Justice Department and the Education Department's Office for Civil Rights supported the students' suit under former president Donald Trump. Including biological men in women's sports, according to the Trump administration, violated Title IX protections for women. Biden's Office for Civil Rights in February, however, said that interpretation of the Civil Rights Act "should not be relied upon."
In Connecticut, transgender women—biological men who transition to or otherwise identify as female—have won 15 state titles in women's sports and set 13 records, according to Republican Rep. Vicky Hartzler (Mo.). A December study found that transgender women retain an athletic advantage over their biologically female competitors for more than one year after transition therapy.
Following Biden's executive order, the House in February passed the Equality Act, which would expand Title IX protections to transgender people.
Lawmakers in 28 states have introduced legislation to limit Title IX protections to biological women. Ohio state representative Jena Powell (R.), told the Washington Free Beacon that expanding Title IX for transgender people creates an "illusion" of fairness that, in reality, threatens biological women.
"Our women and children deserve better than this illusion of equality which is nothing more than dangerous gender identity ideological brainwashing," Powell said. "Protecting women and children in our country means passing legislation like the Save Women's Sports Act, to preserve the rights and dignity of women and children."