Three female high school students have filed a federal lawsuit challenging the legality of a Connecticut policy that allows biological males to compete in all-girl events, claiming it robs them of opportunities and scholarships.
The suit argues that teenage track athletes Selina Soule, Chelsea Mitchell and Alanna Smith have been deprived of “honors and opportunities” after losing track races to biological males who identify as females.
The lawsuit blames the loss of opportunities on the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference’s policy permitting students to compete in sporting events based upon their gender identity.
The three girls are being represented by a conservative legal organization, the Alliance Defending Freedom, which is arguing that the policy violates Title IX, “a federal law designed to create opportunities for women in education and athletics” while reversing “nearly 50 years of advances for women.”
“Girls deserve to compete on a level playing field,” said ADF legal counsel Christiana Holcomb.
“Forcing them to compete against boys isn’t fair, shatters their dreams, and destroys their athletic opportunities,” she said, the Washington Times reported.
“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.”
The liberal American Civil Liberties Union vowed to fight the complaint, calling the legal challenge “a dangerous distortion of both law and science in the service of excluding trans youth from public life.”
The CIAC defended its 2013 policy.
Connecticut school districts are responsible for determining that a student’s gender identity is “bona fide and not for the purpose of gaining an unfair advantage in competitive athletics,” the policy states.
“The CIAC believes that its current policy is appropriate under both state and federal law, and it has been defending that policy in the complaint that was filed previously with the Office of Civil Rights,” said the statement.
The suit notes that male athletes achieve higher records of 10-20 percent due to “basic physiological differences” between biological males and females.
At the same time, female athletes undergo changes after puberty that often impedes athletic performance, including increased body fat, wider hips, and decreased hip rotation, the suit notes.