Former Connecticut athletes ask appeals court to resurrect their challenge to state’s trans-inclusive sports policy

Four women who were formerly high school athletes in Connecticut are asking an appeals court to let them revive their challenge to the state’s trans-inclusive sports policy.

The four cisgender women argued that the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference’s policy allowing transgender women to compete in high school girls’ sports put them at an athletic disadvantage, and sued under Title IX.

The case was dismissed due to lack of standing, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit agreed last month to rehear the appeal.

The plaintiffs — Selina Soule, Chelsea Mitchell, Alanna Smith and Ashley Nicoletti — are now arguing that the case does have standing to raise their Title IX concerns and should be allowed to proceed in district court.

“So Plaintiffs sued under Title IX, which has protected female athletes’ equal opportunities and effective accommodation for decades. Over three years later, the female athletes still have not obtained a merits ruling. The injustice that began on the track followed the female athletes to the courtroom,” the plaintiff’s filing reads.

They argue that Connecticut’s trans-inclusive policy ignores physical distinctions between males and females that would require sex-separated sports, and allowed two transgender women — Andraya Yearwood and Terry Miller — to compete alongside the plaintiffs during their high school athletic careers.

“And the effects were devastating on high-performing female track athletes, like Plaintiffs here. One named plaintiff, for instance, was deprived of ‘four state championship titles, two All New England awards, medals, points, and publicity’ because she lost to one or both biological males,” the filing reads.

When the appeals court threw out the case back in December, a three-judge panel determined that the plaintiffs had placed first in some track and field events even when they were competing against the transgender women.

Transgender competitors in athletics has become a contentious topic as some in the GOP look to limit the athletes to participating in the sport designated to their sex assigned at birth, rather than their gender identity.

Earlier this week, Wyoming’s Republican Gov. Mark Gordon gave the green light to legislation barring transgender women and girls from competing on female sports teams. Eighteen other states have similar bans, according to the Associated Press.

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