Female athletes are victimized by trans athletes, lawsuit argues
'The reason that we’ve had women’s sports as a separate category for more than 50 years in our country is because we recognize that there are real, physical differences between males and females.'
The Biden administration put the fate of women’s sports on the brink after formally releasing its proposed rule on Title IX to expand protections to transgender students.
Oral arguments began on Thursday challenging a Connecticut policy that paved the way for two biological men to hijack girls’ track and field.
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) represents four female track athletes, Selina Soule, Alanna Smith, Chelsea Mitchell, and Ashley Nicoletti, in the fight against the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference’s (CIAC) policy that permits male athletes to compete in female divisions.
“Ultimately, we hope that the Connecticut policy is declared to be a violation of Title IX,” Christiana Kiefer, ADF Senior Counsel, told Campus Reform.
The American Civil Liberties Union, which represents defendants Andraya Yearwood and Terry Miller, directed Campus Reform to a press release regarding the hearing.
“The plaintiffs’ argument is filled with hypotheticals about a dystopia where cisgender girls disappear from the podium, but the court must rely on facts,” staff attorney Joshua Block said. “The facts are that these plaintiffs repeatedly outperformed Andraya and Terry, and won an impressive collection of first place trophies in the process. There is enough room on the victory podium for transgender girls too.”
Kiefer told Campus Reform that while there “is a place for everyone to compete in sports,” competitions must remain fair.
“The reason that we’ve had women’s sports as a separate category for more than 50 years in our country is because we recognize that there are real, physical differences between males and females,” Kiefer said. “We want a future where girls like Selena and Alana can continue to showcase their talents and be on the podium at all.”
“We have to protect the integrity of women’s sports as a separate category,” she stated.
Soule told Campus Reform that “no amount of training and effort” can disregard the biological differences between men and women that give male athletes a competitive advantage.
“It is imperative that women’s sports stays women’s sports to ensure that girls not only have the opportunities to participate in the sport that they love, but to win,” she said. “That’s what we all compete for.”
ADF claims the policy allowed two male athletes to steal “honors and opportunities to compete at athlete levels” from the four athletes and accuses it of violating Title IX, which prohibits sex-based discrimination.
The court ruling on Soule v. Connecticut Association of Schools could set a precedent for how the law is interpreted and could impact transgender eligibility policies enforced at the collegiate level.
“If we win in the state of Connecticut and the policy is declared to be in violation of Title IX’s clear mandate for fair and equal opportunity for female athletes, that could certainly reverberate across the country and set great precedent for protecting female athletics across the country,” Kiefer explained.
On June 23, the Biden administration put the fate of women’s sports on the brink after formally releasing its proposed rule on Title IX to expand protections to transgender students. While the administration stated it would issue a separate ruling on athletics, no such proposal has been made.
The plaintiffs’ brought their grievances to court after allegedly losing race opportunities and titles to the two male athletes.
In 2019, Soule was denied a qualifying spot for the 55-meter dash at the New England Regional Championships.
“I know that what I’m fighting for is important, and it’s right,” Soule told Campus Reform. “I am prepared to continue for as long as I need to.”
Mitchell reportedly lost four state championship titles to the athletes, after formerly being crowned “the fastest girl in Connecticut.”
Smith was reduced to 3rd place in the 200-meter dash during the 2019 New England Interscholastic Track & Field Championships in 2019 after a male athlete came in 2nd.
She told Campus Reform she is hopeful for a good outcome on the case and that “fairness can be restored to women’s sports.”
ADF filed an appeal the following month.
“We’re optimistic that ultimately we’ll be able to go back to the lower court and make our full Title IX case and move forward,” Kiefer said.
Female athletes rallied outside the White House on the 50th anniversary of Title IX demanding the administration protect women’s sports.
Soule, Mitchell, and Smith all spoke at the event about their experience. Soule told Campus Reform at the rally she is speaking out against the new agenda to “make sure that no one has to go through that pain and heartbreak that I went through.”
Riley Gaines, a former University of Kentucky swimmer who tied transgender swimmer Lia Thomas at the NCAA Women’s Swimming Championship, also spoke at the rally.
She told Campus Reform that saving women’s sports is an issue that impacts everyone, not just athletes.
"I just want people to realize that this is the majority here," she said, "not the half a percent of the population that is transgender."
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