Three female high school athletes filed a federal lawsuit this week in an effort to prevent biological males in Connecticut from competing in girls’ sporting events.
Selina Soule, a senior at Glastonbury high school, Chelsea Mitchelle, a senior at Canton high school, and Alanna Smith, a sophomore at Danbury high school, announced the lawsuit on Wednesday from the steps of the state capitol in Hartford.
The lawsuit, which was filed with the help of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), argues that allowing transgender athletes to compete in girls’ sports creates a competitive disadvantage and hurts scholarship opportunities of non-trans athletes.
According to the Washington Post, the lawsuit centers on senior transgender runners Andraya Yearwood of Cromwell High and Terry Miller of Bloomfield, who “made national headlines after finishing first and second in the 55-meter dash at the state indoor track championship last winter.”
Miller also won the 200-meter sprint and was part of the first-place 4×400-meter relay team at the state outdoor championships.
“Girls deserve to compete on a level playing field,” ADF attorney Christiana Holcomb said in a statement.
“Having separate boys’ and girls’ sports has always been based on biological differences, not what people believe about their gender, because those differences matter for fair competition.”
Ms Holcomb went on to say, “Forcing girls to be spectators in their own sports is completely at odds with the Title IX, a federal law designed to create equal opportunities for women in education and athletics.”
The ADF has argued that since the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference adopted a policy allowing males who identify as females to compete in girls’ athletics events, boys have consistently deprived female athletes of honors and opportunities to compete at elite levels.
“I’ve lost opportunities to compete at world-class tracks,” said Selina Soule, one of the three girls behind the lawsuit.
“I’ve lost opportunities to compete in front of college coaches and gain attention, and I’ve lost opportunities to win titles,” Selina added.
“Even before I get to the track, I already know that I’m not going to get first place, or maybe even second place,” Alanna Smith said. “And it’s really hard knowing that, because I know that no matter how hard I work, I won’t be able to have the top spot.”
Currently, in Connecticut, two biological males now hold 15 women’s State Championship titles that were once held by ten different girls.
“Our dream is not to come in second or third place, but to win, fair and square,” Chelsea Mitchelle said. “All we’re asking for is a fair chance.”