The families of three Connecticut high school girls filed a federal lawsuit this week attempting to block transgendered athletes in the state from participating in girls sports.
Runners Selina Soule of Glastonbury High School, Alanna Smith of Danbury High School, and Chelsea Mitchell of Canton High School complained that competing against male athletes who identify as female has deprived them of scholarship opportunities and track titles.
The lawsuit, filed Wednesday at the U.S. District Court of Connecticut, claims that the state’s high school athletic governing body is violating Title IX, the federal law designed to ensure equal opportunities for women and girls in education and school-based athletics.
“Forcing them to compete against boys isn’t fair, shatters their dreams, and destroys their athletic opportunities,” said Christiana Holcomb, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom, the nonprofit legal firm representing the plaintiffs. “Having separate boys and girls sports has always been based on biological differences, not what people believe about their gender, because those differences matter for fair competition.”
Two sprinters who are biologically male but identify as female have combined to win 15 girls state championship titles and their victories have taken away more than 85 opportunities for biological girls to participate in higher-level competitions in the last three years, according to the lawsuit.
“It was definitely frustrating and disheartening to be right there, running for the biggest honors in the state, and to work so hard and try so hard to be the best in the state,” Mitchell told The Daily Signal. She lost four girls state championships and two all–New England titles to boys who identify as girls.
Holcomb said the state athletics policy on transgender competitors forces girls to be spectators in their own sports and “reverses nearly 50 years of advances for women.” —M.J.