Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Connecticut Is In The Big Time.

Unfortunately not in a good way.

There are two individuals who have sued the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference and multiple school boards in the state over allowing trans student athletes.
Justice Department Says Title IX Doesn’t Cover Transgender Status of Student Athletes
The National Law Review
By Benjamin Daniels andCatherine Baiocchi
April 7, 2020

The Justice Department recently filed a brief opposing the participation of transgender athletes in women’s high school sports. In Soule et al. v. Connecticut Association of Schools, Inc., et al., No. 3:20-cv-00201-RNC (D. Conn.), the Department of Justice said that Title IX’s prohibition of “sex” discrimination does not prohibit discrimination based on transgender status. In fact, the Justice Department believes that allowing transgender athletes to participate might violate Title IX.

The Lawsuit
Since 2017, two transgender Connecticut high school student athletes who identify as female have dominated girls' track. The pair has won a combined 15 girls' track championship races. The plaintiffs in Soule are three high school student athletes who say that a high school athletic conference’s policy that allows transgender athletes to compete in women’s events violates Title IX because it discriminates against athletes who were born biologically female. The plaintiffs say that among other things they lost races, missed out on potential college recruitment, and never experienced the “thrill of victory.”
The choice of gender identification is left to the student and the local school. Once identified, the student’s eligibility to participate in a gender specific sport is fixed for the rest of the athlete’s high school career. The conference believes that this prevents students from gaining an athletic advantage. The conference also cleared the policy with the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”), which confirmed that Title IX supports transgender athletic opportunities.
The thing is that the CT Department of Education, and the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference didn’t just pull the regulation out of a hat, there was research that went into the decision.

The NCAA has this booklet out on trans athletes and they state,
Guiding Principles
Policies governing the participation of transgender student-athletes should be informed by the following principles, and be included in the institution’s transgender student-athlete policy statement:
1. Participation in intercollegiate athletics is a valuable part of the education experience for all students.
2. Transgender student-athletes should have equal opportunity to participate in sports.
3. The integrity of women’s sports should be preserved.
4. Policies governing sports should be based on sound medical knowledge and scientific validity.
5. Policies governing sports should be objective, workable, and practicable; they should also be written, available and equitably enforced.
6. Policies governing the participation of transgender students in sports should be fair in light of the tremendous variation among individuals in strength, size, musculature, and ability.
7. The legitimate privacy interests of all student-athletes should be protected.
8. The medical privacy of transgender students should be preserved.
9. Athletics administrators, staff, parents of athletes, and student-athletes should have access to sound and effective educational resources and training related to the participation of transgender and gender-variant students in athletics.
10. Policies governing the participation of transgender students in athletics should comply with state and federal laws protecting students from discrimination based on sex, disability, and gender identity and expression.
The IOC statement
The group recommends that individuals undergoing sex reassignment from male to female after puberty (and the converse) be eligible for participation in female or male competitions, respectively, under the following conditions:
  • Surgical anatomical changes have been completed, including external genitalia changes and gonadectomy
  • Legal recognition of their assigned sex has been conferred by the appropriate official authorities
  • Hormonal therapy appropriate for the assigned sex has been administered in a verifiable manner and for a sufficient length of time to minimise gender-related advantages in sport competitions. In the opinion of the group, eligibility should begin no sooner than two years after gonadectomy.
So athletic associations do not have a problem with trans student athletes.

What about legal ruling that include trans student athletes or Title IX?

Well the National Center for Transgender Equality list these major cases.

Federal Appeals Court cases:

  • Whitaker v. Kenosha Unified School District, 858 F.3d 1034 (7th Cir. May 30, 2017) (holding that discrimination against transgender students constitutes sex discrimination under Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution).
  • Dodds v. U.S. Dept. of Education, 845 F.3d 217 (6th Cir. Dec.16, 2016) (holding that discrimination against transgender students likely constitutes sex discrimination under Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 and the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution).
  • Glenn v. Brumby, 663 F.3d 1312 (11th Cir. Dec. 6, 2011) (holding that termination of employee based on her gender transition, transgender status and unsubstantiated “bathroom concerns” constitutes sex-based discrimination in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution).

Federal Court cases:

  • Adams v. School Board of St. Johns County, 318 F.Supp.3d 1293 (M.D. Fla. Jul. 26, 2018) (holding that excluding transgender student from school restrooms consistent with his gender identity constituted sex discrimination under Title IX and the Equal Protection Clause).
  • Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board, No. 4:15-cv-54 (E.D. Va. May 22, 2018) (holding that denying a transgender boy access to school restrooms matching his gender violated Title IX and the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution)

And in state courts, Maine Supreme Court rule in favor of Nicole Maines, GLAD wrote
January 30, 2014 – Victory! Maine High Court rules that denying a transgender girl the use of the girls’ restroom at her school violated her rights under the state’s Human Rights Act. Read the decision.
I wrote about Nicole Maines here and here. (Yes it is the same Nicole Maines that stars on Supergirl).

So there are many reason that the case should go in our favor and I’ll will make this prediction that the case will  go all the way to the Supreme Court… why? Because that is what the lawyers for the Alliance Defending Freedom want, to overturn court precedents that are in our favor and to be able to legally discriminate against trans people.

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