A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit from four female athletes who alleged that Connecticut’s policy of permitting transgender women (biological males) to compete against girls, on the basis of gender identity, violated their Title IX rights.
Judge Robert Chatigny, a judge for the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut, and an appointee of former President Barack Obama, said the girls’ claims were moot because the two transgender athletes who two of the female athletes competed against, Andraya Yearwood and Terry Miller, had both graduated.
“I conclude that the request to enjoin enforcement of the CIAC policy has become moot due to the graduation of Yearwood and Miller, whose participation in girls’ track provided the impetus for this action,” Judge Chatigny wrote.
Selina Soule, Chelsea Mitchell, Alanna Smith and Ashley Nicoletti, with the help of lawyers at Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), originally sued the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) in February 2020.
The CIAC began permitting biological males to compete against females in 2017. According to ADF, in the three track seasons between 2017 and 2019, Yearwood and Miller took 85 opportunities to participate in higher level competitions away from biologically female athletes.
“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 in a statement on the ruling. “But competition is no longer fair when males are permitted to compete in girls’ sports. Males will always have inherent physical advantages over comparably talented and trained girls; that’s the reason we have girls’ sports in the first place.”
“Unfortunately, this court has chosen to ignore our clients’ demoralizing experiences of losing to male runners… Girls and women deserve opportunities that are truly equal—without being sidelined or dominated by males choosing to join their sport,” Holcomb added.
ADF said that it will appeal the decision because “no girl should be forced to compete for second place.” Any future appeal will go to the Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which currently has six judges appointed by Republican presidents, and five appointed by Democratic ones.
Selina Soule, one of the four girls represented in the lawsuit, said in a statement following the ruling, “Today’s decision ignores the unfairness of CIAC’s policy, which allows biological males who identify as female to compete in the girls’ category. During all four years of high school, I worked incredibly hard to shave fractions of a second off my time, only to lose to athletes who had an unfair physical advantage.”
“I don’t want any other girl to experience the pain and heartbreak I had to go through, and I will continue to stand up for fairness in women’s sports for as long as it takes,” Soule added.
Chelsea Mitchell, one of the athletes named in the lawsuit, said in part, “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.”
In a statement to WFSB, CIAC said that it was “pleased with the court’s decision.”
Those who are struggling with gender dysphoria deserve compassion and should get the counseling they need. However, it is commonsense that forcing females to compete against biological males, who have inherent physiological advantages over their female counterparts, is profoundly unfair and antiscientific.
The Daily Citizen will keep you apprised of any developments in this case.
The case is Soule v. Connecticut Association of Schools.
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Photo from Alliance Defending Freedom