In efforts to shore up Title IX, the families of three female high school runners in Connecticut have filed a federal lawsuit to block transgender athletes from competing in girls sports.
The three girls, who are being represented by the conservation nonprofit organization Alliance Defending Freedom, stated that having to compete against athletes with male anatomy is depriving them of well-earned scholarship opportunities and track titles.
“Mentally and physically, we know the outcome before the race even starts,” said Alanna Smith, a sophomore at Danbury High School and one of the girls filing the lawsuit, to AP. “That biological unfairness doesn’t go away because of what someone believes about gender identity. All girls deserve the chance to compete on a level playing field.”
The federal lawsuit was filed against the boards of education in in Bloomfield, Cromwell, Glastonbury, Canton and Danbury, and the Connecticut Association of Schools-Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference.
“Forcing girls to be spectators in their own sports is completely at odds with Title IX, a federal law designed to create equal opportunities for women in education and athletics,” attorney Christiana Holcomb said to AP. “Connecticut’s policy violates that law and reverses nearly 50 years of advances for women.”
The lawsuit revolves around two transgender sprinters, Andraya Yearwood and Terry Miller, who have consistently outperformed their female competitors. They have won 15 girls state indoor and outdoor championship races since 2017. The three biological girls have placed directly behind these “in the process of transitioning” boys who identify as female.
“Our dream is not to come in second or third place, but to win fair and square,” said Chelsea Mitchell, a senior at Canton High School, to AP. “All we’re asking for is a fair chance.”
Since 2019, Connecticut is one of 17 states that allow transgender high school athletes to compete without restriction. The Connecticut Association of Schools-Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference said to AP that it is following an anti-discrimination law that says students must be treated in school by the gender with which they identify.
The two transgender teens are being defending by the American Civil Liberties Union.