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Connecticut athletics says it can force girls to compete against boys because it’s exempt from Title IX

It’s ignoring ‘clear federal case law,’ girls’ lawyer retorts

Last month three female track and field athletes sued the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference for letting biologically male athletes who identify as girls compete in their sport in violation of Title IX.

The conference, which oversees high school sports in the state, has a novel response: It’s not covered by the sex discrimination law.

The Associated Press reports that the organization’s response brief says it should not be a defendant in the lawsuit, which also targets several school districts:

“By its terms, Title IX applies only to recipients of federal funds,” the defense attorneys wrote in the filing. “The Board of Education defendants do not contest that they are recipients of federal funds and subject to Title IX. The CIAC, however, is a private non-profit organization organized under the laws of the State of Connecticut. It does not receive any direct federal funding.”

MOREConnecticut under federal investigation for anti-female policy

The lawyer for Selina Soule, Chelsea Mitchell and Alanna Smith mocked the conference’s response. Christiana Holcomb pointed to “clear federal case law that says that athletic associations that exercise this controlling authority over public school interscholastic competition are subject to Title IX.”

The season may be ultimately canceled because of the COVID-19 outbreak, meaning seniors Soule and Mitchell and transgender track stars Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood would graduate before the suit is resolved. Holcomb said the case will go forward either way:

“These girls still had damage that occurred to them in the form of lost state championship titles and a number of other awards and medals,” Holcomb said. “One of the things we’re asking of the CIAC and the school districts is to fix their records.”

A judge is considering the female athletes’ motion for an injunction that would prevent their biologically male competitors from participating in girls’ spring track, assuming it isn’t canceled, according to the AP.

Read the article.

MORE: Girl runners get ‘extra lessons in losing’ thanks to Connecticut policy

IMAGE: Ben Parker Photography/Shutterstock

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Greg spent several years as a technology policy reporter and editor for Warren Communications News in Washington, D.C., and guest host on C-SPAN’s “The Communicators.” He co-founded the alternative newspaper PUNCH and served as a reporter, editor and columnist for The Falcon at Seattle Pacific University.

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