Judge halts Arizona transgender sports ban, superintendent promises appeal

Horne insists that the final decision maker will be the U.S. Supreme Court, which leans conservative.

Published: July 20, 2023 11:01pm

(The Center Square) -

(The Center Square)— A federal judge ruled against Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne in a lawsuit over banning transgender girls from participating on girls' sports teams in schools.

Arizona District Court Judge Jennifer Zipps, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama, ordered a preliminary injunction that will allow girls who identify as transgender to play for their school's girl's sports teams.

"Plaintiffs will also suffer severe and irreparable mental, physical, and emotional harm if the Act applies to them because they cannot play on boys' sports teams. Playing on a boys' team would directly contradict Plaintiffs' medical treatment for gender dysphoria and would be painful and humiliating," the court document states. "Plaintiffs' mental health is dependent on living as girls in all aspects of their lives."

However, Horne insists that the final decision maker will be the U.S. Supreme Court, which leans conservative.

"We will appeal this ruling. This will ultimately be decided by the United States Supreme Court, and they will rule in our favor," Horne said in a statement Thursday. "The Plaintiffs in this case claimed that this only involves pre-pubescent boys, but we presented peer-reviewed studies that show pre-pubescent boys have an advantage over girls in sports. The only expert presented by the Plaintiffs was a medical doctor who makes his money doing sex transition treatments on children and who has exactly zero peer-reviewed studies to support his opinion."

The law, known as the "Save Women's Sports Act" was passed by the Republican-led Legislature and later signed by former Gov. Doug Ducey in March 2022. Other Republican-led states, such as Tennessee, Oklahoma, Iowa, and Alabama, have similar laws on the books. According to 13 News, two transgender girls sued Horne in order to get the opportunity to play for the girls' teams at their schools.

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