US Department of Ed: Connecticut Law Protecting Transgender Athletes Violates Title IX
Can unfair competition be a violation of civil liberties? At the intersection of biological and civil rights, the federal transgender athlete case stemming from the state of Connecticut grapples with this very question.
After a few months of deliberation, The civil rights office of the U.S. Education Department has decided that the participation in girls' athletics of two transgender female athletes, Terry Miller (Bloomfield, CT) and Andraya Miller (Cromwell, CT), is a violation of Title IX, according to the Associated Press.
The title is a federal law that ensures equal educational opportunities for women, which include athletics. The department's decision to adhere to Title IX is in direct response to The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference's anti-discrimination policy that allowed Miller and Yearwood to compete against the females.
Despite the fact that the conference's policy complies with a Connecticut state law that prohibits discrimination against transgender pupils, the department's decision can potentially cut the conference's federal funding.
The A.P. reports that the issue was brought to court after three female athletes from Danbury (Alanna Smith), Glastonbury (Selina Soule) and Canton (Chelsea Mitchell) filed a complaint that the transgender athletes had unfair biological advantages that were allowing them to win on a regular basis against the girls. This sparked a federal lawsuit.
Chase Strangio from the American Civil Liberties Union, who is defending Miller and Yearwood in court, says that the two athletes are undergoing hormone treatment that will allow them to compete on a more equal level. The ACLU has repeatedly defended the transgender females and believes they should be able to compete with the gender they identify with.
According to the A.P., Roger Brooks from The Alliance Defending Freedom, who defends Smith, Soule, and Mitchell, hopes that the judge will consider the department's decision.
Although the ACLU also contends that Title IX violates the U.S. Constitution due to its discriminatory nature, there's no denying that the three girls and the Alliance are making progress towards their version of justice.
Brooks argues that this case extends far beyond Connecticut and is relevant to all districts in the U.S, according to the Associated Press.
The link to the interview with Yearwood and Miller can be found here: https://www.today.com/video/transgender-student-athletes-speak-out-on-title-ix-debate-64626245731