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GLAD Response to ADF Suit Challenging Transgender Girls’ Participation in Sports

Yesterday the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative religious law firm, filed a lawsuit aimed at preventing transgender girls from playing school sports in Connecticut. The lawsuit specifically targets the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference’s (CIAC) policy which states reasonable rules for allowing transgender girls to participate at the high school level in girls’ events and transgender boys to participate at the high school level in boys’ events.  The CIAC policy has been in place for seven years and is similar to 25 statewide policies in place across the country.

The CIAC, like many sport governing bodies is deeply committed to equality, fairness, and inclusion of girls in sports.  GLAD similarly has a deep and abiding concern that all female athletes have the opportunity to participate in sports at the high school level and beyond.

This case seeks to undermine those goals and is part and parcel of attacks we have been seeing on transgender youth across the country. Transgender young people participate in sports for all the same reasons as other young people do.  Sports builds self-esteem, fosters physical development, develops camaraderie and deepens peer relationships.  GLAD is committed to ensuring these opportunities for all young people, including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer.

We applaud the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference for its commitment to a fair, inclusive policy that supports all students.

GLAD is following this case along with legislative efforts across the country targeting transgender youth. If you have concerns or questions, please reach out to us at GLAD Answers: GLADAnswers.org.