Three female high school runners in the United States have filed a federal lawsuit that seeks to block transgender athletes from participating in girls sports.
Selina Soule, Chelsea Mitchell and Alanna Smith, from Connecticut are being represented by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a conservative nonprofit organisation.
The lawsuit was filed against the Connecticut Association of Schools-Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference and the boards of education in Bloomfield, Cromwell, Glastonbury, Canton and Danbury.
The argument of the girls, in conjunction with ADF, is centred on sporting bodies allowing athletes with male anatomy to compete with females therefore, is depriving them of track titles and scholarship opportunities.
“Mentally and physically, we know the outcome before the race even starts,” said Smith.
"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.”
Attorney, Christina Holcomb, said that 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.
She added: “Connecticut’s policy violates that law and reverses nearly 50 years of advances for women.”
According to the suit, two trans female students named Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood have frequently outperformed their cisgender competitors since coming out and joining the track team; winning 15 girls state indoor or outdoor championship races since 2017.
The Connecticut Association of Schools-Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference says its policy follows a state anti-discrimination law that says students must be treated in school by the gender with which they identify and the group believes the policy is “appropriate under both state and federal law.”
The three plaintiffs have competed directly against Yearwood and Miller and predominantly losing all of their races. Mitchell finished third in the 2019 state championship in the girls 55-meter indoor track competition behind Miller and Yearwood.
“Our dream is not to come in second or third place, but to win fair and square. All we’re asking for is a fair chance,"Mitchell said.
Yearwood and Miller who are seniors at Cromwell High School and Bloomfield High School respectively, issued statements explicitly defending their right to run in girls events.
Miller said that she has faced discrimination in every aspect of her life and no longer wants to remain silent.
Miller added. “I am a girl and I am a runner. I participate in athletics just like my peers to excel, find community, and meaning in my life. It is both unfair and painful that my victories have to be attacked and my hard work ignored.”
Connecticut is one of 17 states that allowed transgender high school athletes to compete without restrictions in 2019.
Eight states have restrictions that make it difficult for transgender athletes to compete while in school, as a result require athletes to compete under the gender on their birth certificate, or allow them to participate only after going through sex reassignment procedures or hormone therapies according to Transathlete.