Connecticut girls ask court to halt policy allowing ‘biological’ boys to dominate their sports
Female high school athletes sue their state in order to regain opportunity to compete fairly in their sports.
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A group of female high-school athletes is asking the state of Connecticut to stop enforcing a policy change allowing males who identify as females to compete in girls’ athletic events, arguing the change is diminishes their opportunity for a college scholarship and erasing gains women made in Title IX.
The 37-year-old federal law known as Title IX states no one in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participating in any activity or education program that receives federal funding.
“Forcing girls to be spectators in their own sports is completely at odds with Title IX,” says Christiana Holcomb, an attorney for the Alliance Defending Freedom, the conservative Christian group presenting the female track-and-field athletes and their mothers.
The suit, Soule v. Connecticut Association of Schools, was filed Feb. 12 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut and argues that the CIAC policy and those similar to it undermine the impact of Title IX due to the “inescapable biological facts of the human species” – not because of “stereotypes” or “‘social constructs.”
The many inherent physiological differences between men and women after puberty has resulted in male athletes consistently achieve records 10-20% higher than comparably fit and trained women across all athletic events, according to the suit.
“Like large numbers of female athletes around the nation, each plaintiff has trained much of her life … to experience the personal satisfaction of victory, gain opportunities to participate in state and regional meets, gain access to opportunities to be recruited and offered athletic scholarships by colleges, and more,” the plaintiff attorneys argue in the 52-page case.
“Those opportunities for participation, recruitment, and scholarship are now being directly and negatively impacted by a new policy that is permitting boys who are male in every biological respect to compete in girls’ athletic competitions if they claim a female gender identity.”
During the 2017 track season, CIAC policy allowed two male-who-identify-as-female athletes to compete in girls’ track and field competitions. Since then, those two competitors have claimed 15 women’s state championship titles. Those titles were kheld by nine different high school girls in 2016, the year before CIAC’s policy went into effect.
The biologically male athletes have claimed more than 85 opportunities to participate in upper level competitions from female track athletes throughout the 2017-2019 seasons, according to the suit.
“While highly competitive girls are experiencing the no doubt character-building ‘agony of defeat,’ they are systematically being deprived of a fair and equal opportunity to experience the ‘thrill of victory,’ ” the suit also argues.