Four athletes challenge Connecticut policy in fight to save women’s sport

(NCR/InfoCatlicaThe case, Soule v. Connecticut Association of Schools, has been at the center of debate over whether or not male athletes who identify as female can compete on all-girls sports teams.

The girls are represented in the case by lawyers from the non-profit conservative legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).

These young women, encounter after encounter, saw that in Connecticut those who were born female did not have the same opportunities, ADF lead attorney Roger Brooks argued in court Thursday morning.

Perhaps it is more troublesome that her little sisters, who were on the sidelines, saw that those who were born women like them did not have the same chances of winning. That is contrary to the very heart of Title IX, he concluded.

Title IX, adopted in 1972, protects Americans from discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs or activities that receive federal funding.

Four track and field athletes take sides

The ADF is representing four female track and field athletes – Selina Soule, Alanna Smith, Chelsea Mitchell and Ashley Nicoletti – in a legal challenge against Connecticut’s policy that allows transgender athletes to compete on girls’ high school sports teams.

The lawsuit contends that the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference’s (CIAC) policy allowing boys to compete on women’s sports teams violates Title IX and has deprived female athletes of equal opportunities to compete, win medals and advance in championships. championships.

Mitchell, for example, would have won the 2019 Connecticut state championship in the women’s 55-meter indoor competition, but was denied the gold medal when two male athletes who identified as transgender – Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood – were left behind. in first and second place.

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Mitchell told CNA that as a result, he lost four state championships and other advances in all New England awards.

I don’t know exactly how that would have impacted my college recruiting, he said.

Especially at that time, those state championships meant a lot to me. Training and working so hard to be in contention for a state championship and losing to the biological men in my career was really disheartening and frustrating.

A CIAC spokesman told CNA that the conference had no comment.

Due to IACC policy, Smith walked away from a New England regional meet with a bronze medal instead of a silver because a man placed first.

All other female athletes were unable to proceed to the state open or New England regional meet because the slots were filled by biological males, Smith said.

Soule missed out on qualifying for the meet and the 55m event, for which he had previously qualified, for the same reason.

I was forced to watch my own test from the sidelines, Soule added.

ADF senior adviser Christiana Kiefer said that, on average, men average 10-15% higher performance than women.

Why should girls even try? Kiefer asked. The whole reason we even have women’s sports as a separate category is because we recognize those real physical differences.

The future of women’s sports faces an uphill battle

The girls’ case was dismissed early last year by a Connecticut district court judge when it was filed. The ADF then appealed the sentence before the 2 Court of Appeal.

What the district court did by dismissing the girls’ lawsuit is essentially [decir] that his inaccurate records, his missed opportunities didn’t matter. And that is simply wrong under Title IX, Kiefer said.

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Records do matter to athletes, Kiefer added. Chelsea Mitchell lost four state championship titles. She was four times the fastest girl in a state championship race, yet the record books do not reflect her accomplishments. That is something that needs to be fixed.

The lawsuit requests that the CIAC award the plaintiffs monetary damages, update the district’s records to remove males from the scores, and rescind the policy.

Biden’s policy on Title IX muddies the waters

In June, President Biden reinterpreted the federal Title IX ban on sex discrimination to include sexual orientation or gender identity, paving the way for requiring single-sex sports teams to admit transgender athletes. .

Title IX was originally written in part to ensure fairness in women’s sports.

Kiefer stated that the recent Title IX revisions proposed by President Biden do not bode well for the future of protecting women’s sports.

I think it could spell the beginning of the end for women’s sports, Kiefer said.

Kiefer said the ADF believes Biden’s redefinition of sex in federal law is illegal.

If the administration goes ahead with this, we will see ramifications and difficult situations for female athletes, like we saw in the state of Connecticut, replicated across the United States, she said.

The ADF was one of many dissident groups that filed a public comment against the administration’s proposed rule.

I hope this doesn’t affect their future, Soule said, referring to the younger athletes coming after her, and that girls have a fair chance not only to participate, but to succeed in the sports they love.

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Smith added that she hoped more female athletes would start rising up for faster change.

The more people speak out on this issue, the faster it will be rectified, agreed Mitchell.

Meanwhile, keep working hard on your score. It is the only thing we can do until the problem is solved.

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