HARTFORD, Connecticut, USA (AP) – The Justice Department has engaged in a federal civil rights lawsuit, which seeks to prevent transgender athletes in the state of Connecticut from participating in the women’s branch of interscholastic competitions.
Attorney General William Barr signed what is known as a letter of interest Tuesday, speaking out against the policy of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, the board that oversees sports competitions in state high schools.
The Conference (CIAC) allows athletes to compete with the gender they identify with, on the grounds that it thus abides by state law. This legal framework states that high school students must be treated according to their gender identity.
Furthermore, CIAC argues that the policy complies with the so-called Title IX, a federal law that grants equal opportunities to women in the educational field, including athletic competitions.
In its document, the Justice Department disagrees.
“Under CIAC’s interpretation of Title IX, schools may disregard the actual psychological differences between men and women. Instead, schools may have certain biological men _ for example, who publicly identify themselves as women_, competing against biological women, “Barr and other Justice Department officials wrote.
In doing so, CIAC deprives these women of single-sex sports competitions, which represent one of Title IX’s iconic accomplishments. ”
The lawsuit was filed in February by athletes Selina Soule, who was a senior at Glastonbury High School; Chelsea Mitchell, of the same grade in Canton, and Alanna Smith, sophomore in Danbury, against the Conference and various local boards of education.
The whistleblowers argue that they have been deprived of triumphs, state titles and sports opportunities, as they were forced to compete against transgender athletes.