Biden Withdraws From Transgender Athlete Lawsuit Supported By Trump
President Joe Biden has withdrawn the US government’s support from a lawsuit seeking to ban transgender athletes from taking part in girls’ high school sports.
The federal lawsuit, launched in Connecticut by several cisgender runners, had previously been backed by Donald Trump’s administration.
The runners claimed they had missed out on a number of wins and titles after being forced to compete against transgender sprinters, because the state allows athletes to compete by their gender identity rather than the sex assigned at birth.
Those in favour of the lawsuit claim that transgender athletes, who were assigned as male at birth, have an advantage over competitors born female, while those in opposition argue that once hormone therapy kicks in, the genetic male advantage no longer exists.
However, the effects of the hormones aren’t always seen immediately, and many teens don’t undergo the therapy until after puberty.
The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference responded to the case by saying it had followed state law, which requires high school students to be treated as the gender they identify with, however it was met with letters threatening to cut off federal funding from the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights.
Now, under Biden’s guidance, the Justice Department and the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights has performed a complete U-turn and withdrawn its support ahead of a hearing on Friday, February 26, where a motion has been filed to dismiss the case.
‘The government has reconsidered the matter and hereby notifies the Court that it withdraws its Statement of Interest,’ the Department of Justice said in a statement on Tuesday, February 23, as per NBC News.
After Trump publicised his support for restricting trans rights when it came to high school sports, 17 other states considered implementing similar bans, while Idaho went as far as passing a law and Mississippi legislation was approved just this month.
The government U-turn comes after Biden signed an executive order banning gender identity-discrimination within school sports and other parts of life.
He called on all federal agencies to begin enforcing the Supreme Court’s 2020 decision, which expanded the definition of sex discrimination to include discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
‘Children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports,’ he said at the time, adding that his administration is dedicated to ‘prevent and combat discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation’.
A hearing to potentially dismiss the Connecticut case is set to take place this Friday.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence contact Mindline Trans+ on 0300 330 5468. The line is open 8pm–midnight Mondays and Fridays and is run by trans volunteers.
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