Three members of a girls’ high school track team in Connecticut have filed a federal civil rights complaint against a state policy allowing transgender students to participate in athletics according to their gender identity.
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a Christian law firm that advocates for religious rights, filed the complaint with the U.S. Department of Education on behalf of the plaintiffs on Monday, June 17. It alleges that transgender girl athletes have physiological advantages over their cisgender competitors, thus violating Title IX rules meant to protect girls and women against discrimination in school sports.
“Throughout the 2018-2019 track season, males consistently deprived the female athletes who are part of the complaint of dozens of medals, opportunities to compete at a higher level, and the public recognition critical to college recruiting and scholarship opportunities,” ADF’s website states. The site refers to transgender girls exclusively as males or boys.
Two transgender runners, Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood, are cited as examples in the suit. The girls, both state champions, have faced pushback since last year, when parents of other track and field athletes created petitions to have them disqualified, according to a report by ABC News.
Much of the debate surrounding the issue of whether transgender women should be allowed to play in girls- or women-only sports revolves around the question of hormones. ADF’s suit notes that, unlike Connecticut’s policy, the National Collegiate Athletic Association requires transgender women to undergo hormone therapy for at least one year before participating in women’s sports.
By contrast, the Swiss supreme court just this week decided to suspend Olympic rules requiring “female runners with unusually high testosterone” to take medication to reduce this hormone if they want to compete, according to CBS News.
Miller and Yearwood were undergoing hormone therapy as of June 2018, according to the ABC report. Both students have been vocal in defending their right to compete as girls and say they have many supporters in their school and community.