Indiana says trans girls can’t play on schoolgirl sports teams

Joining a host of states implementing laws barring transgender athletes from competing in sports of their gender identity, Indiana has enacted legislation, despite the governor’s veto, banning transgender girls from competing on sports teams. girls from their schools.

The question of whether transgender athletes should be allowed to compete in the sport of their gender identity has been called competitive fairness and science. This year, a transgender woman won the NCAA swimming title, becoming the first openly transgender woman to win a championship. Politicians and sports sanctioning groups have failed to work out how to respectfully allow transgender athletes to compete. This issue has spilled over to the courts.

In addition to Indiana, states that have laws prohibiting transgender students from participating in sports of their gender identity include:

  • Alabama

  • Arkansas

  • Florida

  • Georgia

  • Idaho

  • Iowa

  • Mississippi

  • Montana

  • Caroline from the south

  • South Dakota

  • Tennessee

  • Texas

  • West Virginia

  • Utah

Other states have passed similar laws, but they have yet to become law or have been vetoed by the state governor. These states include:

  • Arizona

  • Kansas

  • Louisiana

  • Missouri

  • North Dakota

  • Oklahoma

As states continue to push for this type of legislation, human rights groups, such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), have filed lawsuits to test the constitutionality of these laws. For example, since Indiana’s legislation was passed, the ACLU of Indiana has filed a federal lawsuit advocating that a 10-year-old transgender girl be allowed to compete on the Indiana women’s softball team. his school. In West Virginia, a federal court blocked the state from enforcing a law banning transgender girls and women from participating in school sports, ruling in favor of an 11-year-old transgender girl wanting to compete in cross country. and her school’s girls track. teams.

The U.S. Supreme Court has yet to hear a case specifically involving transgender student-athletes. However, the Court ruled, in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, 140 S.Ct. 1731 (2020), the term “sex” includes a person’s “gender identity” in discrimination cases covered by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The Court went on to state that “Title VII’s prohibition of sex discrimination includes a prohibition of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.” The Supreme Court clarified that this wording applied only to Title VII and not Title IX of the Education and School Athletics Amendments.

K-12 institutions and universities will need to monitor this litigation as it unfolds. As courts across the United States rule for or against student-athletes, it is important that schools update their policies regarding transgender athletes.

© 2022 Jackson LewisNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 151

Ruth J. Leeds