ACLU Comment on Dismissal of Challenge to Connecticut Policy Allowing Trans Student Athletes to Participate in School Sports

Affiliate: ACLU of Connecticut
April 25, 2021 6:45 pm

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HARTFORD, Conn. — A federal judge today dismissed a lawsuit filed against the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference and multiple school boards. Represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, Andraya Yearwood and Terry Miller, two transgender student athletes who were named in the lawsuit, were allowed to join the lawsuit in defense of Connecticut’s inclusive policies. The decision noted that “courts across the country have consistently held that Title IX requires schools to treat transgender students consistent with their gender identity.”

Joshua Block, the senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s LGBTQ & HIV Project had the following response:

“This is good news for transgender students in Connecticut and around the country. Today’s ruling shows that allowing transgender students to fully participate in school — including sports — is consistent with existing federal law. This is yet another sign that lawmakers attacking trans youth in states around the country have no legal basis for their claims. When Andraya and Terry ran in high school, they belonged on the girls’ teams because they are girls. They benefited from being on a team, working to better themselves and having an escape from the rest of their days — the same things that anyone else benefits from when playing sports. We will continue to fight against these attacks on transgender youth wherever they come.”

Elana Bildner, staff attorney for the ACLU of Connecticut, had the following response:

“Transgender youth, just like all other youth, belong in our schools and on our sports teams. Trans students’ humanity, dignity, and ability to be full members of their school communities should never be up for debate. Connecticut’s laws preventing discrimination against transgender people and its policies preventing discrimination against trans youth in school and sports are consistent with federal law. The dismissal of this meritless lawsuit is a victory for trans youth in Connecticut and across the country, and it would not have been possible without incredible bravery from Andraya and Terry, who have carried more on their shoulders as two Black trans youth than most adults face in a lifetime.”

More on Soule et al v. CT Association of Schools et al:

An overview of attacks on trans students in sports:

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