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Girls Sue to Block Transgender Athletes From Competing

Connecticut lawsuit centers around 2 transgender runners who often win races
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 12, 2020 3:59 PM CST
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High school track athletes Alanna Smith, left, Selina Soule, center and and Chelsea Mitchell prepare to speak at a news conference outside the Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford, Conn. Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020.   (AP Photo/Pat Eaton-Robb)
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(Newser) – The families of three female high school runners filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday seeking to block transgender athletes in Connecticut from participating in girls sports, the AP reports. Selina Soule, a senior at Glastonbury High School, Chelsea Mitchell, a senior at Canton High School, and Alanna Smith, a sophomore at Danbury High School, are represented by the conservative nonprofit organization Alliance Defending Freedom. They argue that allowing athletes with male anatomy to compete has deprived them of track titles and scholarship opportunities. “Mentally and physically, we know the outcome before the race even starts," said Smith, who is the daughter of former Major League pitcher Lee 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.”

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. “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,” attorney Christiana Holcomb says; the 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 lawsuit centers on two transgender sprinters, Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood, who have frequently outperformed their cisgender competitors. “Our dream is not to come in second or third place, but to win fair and square,” Mitchell said. “All we're asking for is a fair chance.”

(Read more transgender stories.)

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