A federal lawsuit has been filed by the families of three female high school runners who seek to block trans athletes in Connecticut from participating in girls’ sports.
The three students, Selina Soule, a senior at Glastonbury High School, Clesea Mitchell, a senior at Canton High School, and Alanna Smith, a sophomore at Danbury High School are all represented by the conservative non-profit organization named Alliance Defending Freedom. According to them, allowing athletes with male anatomy to compete has deprived them of track titles and scholarship opportunities.
Smith, the daughter of former Major League pitcher Lee Smith said that they know the outcome before the race even starts, mentally and physically, and the biological unfairness doesn’t go away because of “what someone believes about gender identity”. She added that all girls deserve the chance to compete on a level playing field.
Reportedly, the lawsuit has been filed against the Connecticut Association of Schools, the boards of education in Bloomfield, Cromwell, Glastonbury, Canton, and Danbury.
Attorney Christiana Holcomb said that forcing girls to be spectators in their own sports is completely at odds with Title IX, which is a federal law designed to create equal opportunities for women in education and athletics. She argued that Connecticut’s policy violates that law, and it reverses more than 50 years of advances for women.
According to the Connecticut Association of Schools-Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, they follow a state anti-discrimination law that says students must be treated in school by the gender with which they identify.
The girls’ families and the Alliance Defending Freedom filed a Title IX complaint last June with the U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights, and the lawsuit centers on two trans sprinters, Andraya Yearwood and Terry Miller. The two have frequently outperformed their cisgender competitors, and they have won 15 girls state indoor or outdoor championship races since 2017 combined.
The three cisgender students have competed directly against Miller and Yearwood numerous times, and they have almost always lost to them.
Mitchell said that their dream is not to come in second or third place, but to win fair and square, and all they’re asking is a fair chance.
Yearwood and Miller have both defended their participation in girls’ events.