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A Conservative Christian Group Wants to Keep Transgender Athletes From Girls’ Sports

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The lawsuit comes at a time of growing anti-transgender discrimination in the sports world.

Three high school track athletes represented by a conservative Christian group are seeking to overturn Connecticut’s statewide policy allowing transgender student athletes to compete on sports teams without restrictions.

Alliance Defending Freedom, which has also represented plaintiffs in lawsuits challenging same-sex marriage and abortion rights, on Monday filed a federal discrimination complaint with the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, the office that enforces laws prohibiting gender discrimination in schools, the Associated Press reports

Citing Title IX protections, ADF has suggested that the three cisgender female athletes who filed the complaint missed out on wins or scholarships, according to the AP

Connecticut is one of at least 19 states with inclusive policies allowing transgender students to compete on the team that aligns with their gender identity. Legal experts say this complaint could threaten this protection—and it also resonates with a larger pattern of discrimination against transgender girls and women in sports.

“The more we are told that we don’t belong and should be ashamed of who we are, the fewer opportunities we have to participate in sports at all,” Terry Miller, one of the transgender track and field athletes affected by the complaint, said in a statement to the American Civil Liberties Union on Wednesday. “And being an athlete can help us survive. But instead we are being told to be quiet, to go home, to stop being who we are.” 

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