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Title IX Complaint Takes Aim at Transgender Teen Athletes

Student athlete Terry Miller says, "Living in a state that protects my rights is something that I do not take for granted. So many young trans people face exclusion at school and in athletics, and it contributes to the horrible pain and discrimination that my community faces." (Publicdomainpictures.net)
Student athlete Terry Miller says, "Living in a state that protects my rights is something that I do not take for granted. So many young trans people face exclusion at school and in athletics, and it contributes to the horrible pain and discrimination that my community faces." (Publicdomainpictures.net)
June 24, 2019

HARTFORD, Conn. – A conservative religious law firm has filed a civil rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Education on behalf of three Connecticut girls who maintain that allowing transgender girls to play school sports on girls' teams is a violation of Title IX.

The complaint singles out two girls in particular – Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood – saying that because they were assigned male at birth, they shouldn't be allowed to play on the girls' teams.

Dan Barrett, legal director at the ACLU of Connecticut, says the complaint and some of the media narrative surrounding it have only perpetuated stereotypes.

"This complaint mirrors, I think, some of the trans-phobic advocacy that's been done in other arenas – you know, public access to bathrooms, where we were told without any evidentiary basis that people would use the opportunity to go into the bathroom to prey on other people,” he states. “It makes no sense."

Barrett says while the complaint isn't harmless, he doesn't think it will result in a policy change.

The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference's current policy is to follow the state's anti-discrimination law, which says students should be treated in school according to the gender with which they identify.

The complaint says allowing transgender students on a sports team could take championships and scholarships away from other girls.

It was drafted by the Alliance for Defending Freedom, a group that has posted what Barrett calls misleading statements on social media, such as: "Female athletes challenge Connecticut policy that abolishes girls-only sports."

Barrett says he worries that complaints like this could lead to the government policing gender identity.

"Trans girls are girls, for all purposes that the government has any business worrying about," he stresses.

Barrett adds that if a policy change were to come from this complaint, it would mean transgender girls and boys would be banned from playing on the girls' and boys' teams respectively – forcing them to either deny who they are, or forgo participation in school sports altogether.

Jenn Stanley, Public News Service - CT