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Appeals Court Rules in Favor of Policy Allowing Transgender Girls to Compete in Girls' Sports

Milton Quintanilla | Crosswalk Headlines Contributor | Updated: Dec 21, 2022
Appeals Court Rules in Favor of Policy Allowing Transgender Girls to Compete in Girls' Sports

Appeals Court Rules in Favor of Policy Allowing Transgender Girls to Compete in Girls' Sports

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled in favor of a Connecticut athletics association policy allowing biological males identifying as females to play in girls' sports.

According to The Christian Post, last Friday, a three-judge panel ruled that the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference and the Connecticut Association of Schools can have a policy allowing transgender girls to participate in girls' sports. Four biological female high school athletes sued the conference and association over the policy.

The opinion asserted that the panel was "unpersuaded" that the athletes "have established the injury in fact and redressability for standing." Obama-appointed Circuit Judge Denny Chin authored the panel opinion.

Chin asserted that the lawsuit was based on mootness because the four athletes—Selina Soule, Chelsea Mitchell, Alanna Smith and Ashley Nicoletti— have already graduated high school and are, therefore, no longer affected by the policy.

The panel also shot down claims that the policy breached federal Title IX civil rights laws protecting against discrimination based on sex, stating that "Courts of Appeals considering whether Title IX prohibits schools from treating transgender students consistent with their gender identity have held that the statute does not."

"Some Courts of Appeals have taken it further and held that treating transgender students consistent with their sex assigned at birth … violates Title IX," Chin wrote.

"Although these cases from our sister circuits do not address the exact issue of participation of transgender athletes on gender-specific sports teams, such authority nonetheless establishes that discrimination based on transgender status is generally prohibited under federal law."

Alliance Defending Freedom, the legal nonprofit that represented the four athletes, denounced the ruling and noted that it is looking into further options.

"Our clients — like all female athletes — deserve access to fair competition. Thankfully, a growing number of states are stepping up to protect women's athletics," ADF Senior Counsel Christiana Kiefer said in a statement.

"Every woman deserves the respect and dignity that comes with having an equal opportunity to excel and win in athletics, and ADF remains committed to protecting the future of women's sports."

Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut celebrated the panel ruling. The ACLU Connecticut defended the policy on behalf of two transgender students.

"Trans student athletes belong on our sports teams and in our schools, and all trans youth should be celebrated and protected for who they are," Elana Bildner, ACLU Foundation of Connecticut senior staff attorney, said in a statement.

"Today, the courts have once again dismissed this lawsuit seeking to attack trans student-athletes. The record shows that our clients played by the rules, and the court agreed."

The girls had filed the lawsuit against Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference in 2020 over a 2013 policy allowing biological males identifying as female to compete in girls' sports.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit argued that their loss to two biological males who identified as female in a race cost them an opportunity to compete in a regional track championship, which was attended by college scouts seeking to recruit athletes.

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Jacob Lund


Milton QuintanillaMilton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for CrosswalkHeadlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.



Appeals Court Rules in Favor of Policy Allowing Transgender Girls to Compete in Girls' Sports