Three Connecticut girls are suing to block transgender girls from competing in high school sports in the state. Attorney general William Barr’s Justice Department joined them Tuesday.
The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, which controls Connecticut high school sports, has a policy that athletes can compete under their gender identity. (This is also the policy for NCAA and Olympic sports, broadly. Those organizations require transgender women to reduce their testosterone levels to a certain point a year before competing.)
The lawsuit — supported by an anti-LGBTQ group and now the federal government — targets two trans girls, Andraya Yearwood and Terry Miller, who have been two of the best prep sprinters in Connecticut over the last few years.
Barr signed a “statement of interest” filed Tuesday that seeks to use Title IX protections to block athletes like Yearwood and Miller from competing.
“Schools must have certain biological males — namely, those who publicly identify as female — compete against biological females,” the statement claimed, according to the Associated Press.
Yearwood and Miller have both said the lawsuit is an attempt to illegally discriminate against them.
“I am a girl and I am a runner,” Miller said last year. “It is both unfair and painful that my victories have to be attacked and my hard work ignored.”
“I have known two things for most of my life: I am a girl and I love to run,” Yearwood said last summer. “There is no shortage of discrimination that I face as a young black woman who is transgender… I am lucky to live in a state that protects my rights and to have a family that supports me.
The lawyers for the plaintiffs have made a series of wrong-headed and bigoted statements.
“Males will always have inherent physical advantages over comparably talented and trained girls — that’s the reason we have girls sports in the first place,” Christiana Holcomb told the AP on Wednesday. “And a male’s belief about his gender doesn’t eliminate those advantages.”
The three families and the religious, right-wing Alliance for Defending Freedom first filed a Title IX complaint in June of last year, and filed the federal lawsuit in February. The CIAC and local school districts have defended trans athletes’ right to compete under Title IX.
Miller, who has won several state and New England titles, won the girls 200 meters at the Connecticut state championships last June. Two of the plaintiffs, Alanna Smith and Chelsea Smith finished third and fourth in that race. Mitchell won the 100 meters at the same meet, where Yearwood finished fourth.
A third plaintiff, Selina Soule, has become a regular Fox News guest since the Title IX complaint was filed last year.
The Connecticut high school track season is currently suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic.
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