Sunday, January 8, 2023

Federal Judge Hands Defeat to Transgender Athletes by Upholding West Virginia’s Female Sports Law; Federal Judge Clears the Way for West Virginia Law Restricting Transgender Athletes

AP Photo/Raymond Thompson
Federal judge hands defeat to transgender athletes by upholding West Virginia’s female sports law:
A federal judge upheld Thursday a 2021 West Virginia law barring biological males from girls’ and women’s sports, ruling that the state legislature has the authority to issue definitions of sex, in a victory for advocates of female sports.
U.S. District Court Judge Joseph R. Goodwin ruled in favor of the state in its defense of House Bill 2393, called the Save Women’s Sports Bill, which was challenged by an 11-year-old male-born student called B.P.J. who sought to play on the girls’ track team based on gender identity.
Judge Goodwin, an appointee of former President Clinton, said that “a transgender girl is biologically male and, barring medical intervention, would undergo male puberty like other biological males. And biological males generally outperform females athletically.”
“The state is permitted to legislate sports rules on this basis because sex, and the physical characteristics that flow from it, are substantially related to athletic performance and fairness in sports,” said Judge Goodwin in the 23-page opinion.
West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey cheered the court’s ruling, the first federal decision in the litigation against state laws preventing male-born athletes from competing against females in scholastic sports.
Eighteen states have passed such bills in the last few years.
“This is not only about simple biology, but fairness for women’s sports, plain and simple,” Mr. Morrisey said. “Opportunities for girls and women on the field are precious and we must safeguard that future. Protecting these opportunities is important, because when biological males compete in a women’s event women and girls lose their opportunity to shine.” --->READ MORE HERE
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Federal judge clears the way for West Virginia law restricting transgender athletes:
A federal judge on Thursday sided with West Virginia’s law that restricts transgender girls from playing on sports teams that match their gender identity, finding that the state legislature’s definition of “girl” and “woman” is constitutional.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of 11-year-old Becky Pepper-Jackson, a middle schooler looking to try out for her school’s girls cross-country team. Lawyers on behalf of Pepper-Jackson argued the West Virginia law discriminates on the “basis of sex” and “transgender status” — violating both the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause and Title IX, a federal education law that prevents sex-based discrimination.
Her lawyers also alleged that the law was “targeted at, and intended only to affect, girls who are transgender.”
“The record does make clear that, in passing this law, the legislature intended to prevent transgender girls from playing on girls’ sports teams,” Southern District of West Virginia Judge Joseph R. Goodwin wrote in the ruling. “But acting to prevent transgender girls, along with all other biological males, from playing on girls’ teams is not unconstitutional if the classification is substantially related to an important government interest.”
Goodwin temporarily blocked the law in July of 2021, but now the state will be able to enforce it. The Clinton-appointee on Thursday conceded that: “I have no doubt that H.B. 3293 aimed to politicize participation in school athletics for transgender students.” But Goodwin added that “there is not a sufficient record of legislative animus.” --->READ MORE HERE
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