The girls’ complaint in Soule v. Connecticut Association of Schools said that sex-specific sports have been based on “biological differences,” as “those differences matter for fair competition.”
In response, the Trump administration issued letters of impending enforcement action against Connecticut, ruling that the state’s high school athletics policy violated federal civil rights law.
Title IX of the 1972 Educational Amendments Act prohibits sex discrimination in federally-funded education activities and programs. The Education Department also had referred the cases to the Justice Department.
On Tuesday, however, the ED civil rights office not only said it was withdrawing its previous findings in the cases, but also said that it would be reviewing the cases based on President Biden’s recent executive order reinterpreting sex discrimination.
That Jan. 20 order said that federal civil rights protections against sex discrimination also protect against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Legal experts warned that the sweeping order would force girls to share sports, locker rooms, and shelters with biological males identifying as transgender females.
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“Males will always have inherent physical advantages over comparably talented and trained girls; that’s the reason we have girls’ sports in the first place,” Holcomb said on Wednesday.
Title IX “exists precisely because of these differences” between men and women, “and is intended to ensure that women and girls have an equal opportunity to compete, achieve, and win,” she said.
On Feb. 4, Biden’s nominee for education secretary said that students identifying as transgender female should be allowed to participate in girls’ sports.