Arizona school principal tries to defend sports ban on transgender girls

Fewer than a dozen trans students statewide have asked to play on girls’ sports teams in the past decade, but Republican Superintendent Tom Horne said girls across the state face unfair competition, which is why he is fiercely defending Arizona’s trans athlete ban.

Imagine if Dennis Rodman, who likes to dress as a woman, announced that he is transgender and would compete in the Women’s National Basketball Association, or if Floyd Mayweather said he is transgender and will now compete in women’s boxing, Horne said at a press conference on Wednesday morning. announced its support for the ban in court. They would dominate every contest and cause serious damage. Progress in women’s sports would be wiped out.


Horne is currently the sole defendant in a lawsuit submitted last month of two Arizona girls trying to overturn a 2022 law barring them from playing on teams that match their gender identity. The girls’ schools, a private school in Tucson and the public school in the Phoenix area, have expressed support for the two, and Attorney General Kris Mayes has refused to defend the law.

GOP leaders in the Legislature have requested that the judge grant them permission to defend the law which they helped, but they have not yet received it.

What is fair?

At the heart of the issue, Horne said, is girls’ rights to have an equal chance to succeed in their athletic endeavors.

It is a matter of justice, he said. Every person must be treated with the same dignity and the same respect regardless of race, sexual orientation or anything else. It is a basic human value. It is not fair for biological boys to compete against girls, even if they say they are girls or even if they have (puberty) blockers.

An interest in defending women’s access was repeatedly present asserted by legislators which approved the ban last year, and has been at the center of efforts to exclude trans girls from competitive sports across the country at the federal level. But that argument ignores the reality that trans athletes are an extreme minority.

Only in Arizona 16 trans students were allowed to join a public sports team according to their gender identity from 2017 to 2022, when the ban was enacted. And while exact data on gender was not collected, the appeals were roughly evenly split between boys and girls, according to Seth Polansky, a spokesman for the Arizona Interscholastic Association, which oversees athletic programs for roughly 170,000 students across the state.

Horne told the Mirror in an interview on May 5 that even the small number portends a harmful influx in the future.

Its a beginning, and if it is allowed to grow, it will hurt girls sports, he said earlier this month.

Horne said he supports LGBTQ students but he draws the line on their involvement in sports.

I have a very deep sympathy for people who feel they were born in the wrong body, but I also believe that biological men should not compete against women, he said, after calling himself an LGBT rights advocate for his voting record under their voter register. time as a legislator.

Rope. David Cook, a Globe Republican who appeared at the media event in support of Horne’s legal efforts, defended the law he voted for against criticism as a balancing act. LGBTQ students, like all Arizonans, won’t always get what they want, he said.

Life is not fair, nothing in life is fair, he said. Not everyone would be successful, not everyone would have the same opportunities. And what that means is that you could be in for a little disappointment.

For Shawna Glazier, a competitive cyclist who was once defeated by a trans woman, maintaining a level playing field for women at all levels is imperative.

It is humiliating to be forced to compete with them, to know that the biological differences between men and women put us at a significant disadvantage, she said.

Legal arguments

In theirs trial, 11-year-old Jane Doe and 15-year-old Megan Roe argued that the 2022 sports ban violated various federal protections. (Both girls are using pseudonyms for their own protection.) The alleged violations included the equal protection guaranteed by Fourteenth Amendment and Title IXwhich prohibits schools that receive federal funding from discriminating against students based on gender or gender identity.

Horne, in the latest legal filing, refutes that neither argument is valid. Title IX, according to his lawyers, allows schools to segregate students based on gender if the laws are competitive or include physical contact. The rule was designed, his lawyers wrote, to give girls and women equal access to sports.

Title IX permits such sex-segregated teams for the very purpose of promoting gender equality, because gender-related physical differences (affect) fair athletic competition and it is understood that girls would generally be at a competitive disadvantage, the cards read.

The girls’ rights to equal protection are also not violated, Horne added. Instead of singling them out because of their gender identity, the 2022 law treats all students the same, using biological sex as a benchmark to divide students into teams.

Biological boys should be treated the same as biological girls by being able to participate in their relatives’ sports teams based on their gender, lawyers write. (the law) allows them to be in a similar way to others of the same sex.

Currently, trans boys are allowed to play on boys’ teams, and the appeals process that was once open to both trans boys and girls is still available to them. Horne in her application justifies that this exception is validated because trans boys made the choice to compete against other athletes who may prove to be stronger than them, but biological girls have no say in whether they want to compete against athletes who were born male.

Jane and Megan noted that their physical abilities are more in line with their female peers, as the former has not yet gone through puberty and the latter student has been taking puberty blockers and hormone therapy for years.

But Horne cited studies that claim even prepubescent children show differences in athletic ability, adding that even if some trans students don’t show a significant advantage, the court must factor in biological males as a whole. If biological males outnumber biological females on average, then allowing trans girls to join teams that match their gender identity is unfair, Horne’s lawyers argue.

It does not matter that some particular students, including plaintiffs, may not have gone through puberty yet, the briefs say. Making reasonable distinctions based on biological sex is at least substantially related to fairness and safety in sport.

In the end, Horne’s lawyers said, Jane and Megan’s rights are not violated because they can still join the boys’ team, or request that a co-ed, non-competitive team be formed. Striking down the law, they warn, would open the door for boys across the state who want to succeed athletically to claim they are trans and receive medication long-term process which includes medical consultations and counseling sessions simply to compete in girls’ teams.

Federal pushback

An effort at the federal level to protect trans athletes also prompted pushback from Horne. In April, the Biden administration revealed plans to expand Title IX to definitively prevent federally funded schools from limiting transgender students’ athletic participation solely because of their gender identity. The rule change was made in response to transport bans in nearly two dozen statesincluding Arizona.

In a public commentHorne protested the rules expansion, claiming it would decimate girls’ sports.

The whole reason we separate boys from girls sports is because of the male advantage in muscle mass and bone structure, Horne wrote in a public comment protesting the rule change. Making girls compete against it is a great injustice.

Jeanne Woodbury, a lobbyist for Equality Arizona, an LGBTQ advocacy group, dismissed that argument as false. A rule change that promotes inclusion would lead to greater fairness and equality, not less, she said.

The trans-inclusive athletics policy has the same intent as Title IX, she said in an emailed statement. (They) recognize that gender differences are not binary and are designed to enable greater equity in school sports.

And, Woodbury added, Horne’s use of biological essentialism ignores research and studies that dispute claims for trans girls outsized advantage.

Rachel Berg, an attorney with the National Center for Lesbian Rights who represents Jane and Megan, criticized the mistaken conflation of a person’s transgender status with their physical ability.

Just because a girl is transgender doesn’t say anything about her athletic ability, she said.

Related Posts

Rank today's top 6 MMA vs boxing matches by increasing ridiculousness

Rank today’s top 6 MMA vs boxing matches by increasing ridiculousness

Photo by IMAGO / Matt Davies PxImages MMA vs boxing? It’s been 30 years since the first UFC event (RIP Jim Brown) and we still can’t resist…

Wood pushes Lara to regain the title;  Catterall Cruises

Wood pushes Lara to regain the title; Catterall Cruises

Nick ParkinsonMay 27, 2023, 7:44 PM ET6 minute reading MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – Leigh Wood contained the dangerous Mauricio Lara to get revenge and reclaim his WBA world…

Lawrence Okolie vs Chris Billam-Smith World Cruiserweight Title Clash: Key Questions and Expert Predictions

Lawrence Okolie vs Chris Billam-Smith World Cruiserweight Title Clash: Key Questions and Expert Predictions

Lawrence Okolie vs Chris Billam-Smith – We consider the key questions and boxing experts make their predictions. Why are they fighting? The careers of Chris Billam-Smith and…

'My dad feels something went wrong there': Lesbian couple opens up about wedding

‘My dad feels something went wrong there’: Lesbian couple opens up about wedding

Alin and Inbar, congratulations on your upcoming wedding! We would like to know more about your trip as a couple. Alin: “Wow.” Inbar: “We are very excited.”…

From left, Carlos Fernandez, Micael Fernandez and Scott Gomez stand outside the site of their future boxing club at 205 N. Main St.  on Thursday.

Financial dispute at Ybarra’s Boxing Club in Pueblo sparks exodus

Carlos Fernandez started boxing with Scott Gomez in Pueblo when he was 8 years old, but two open heart surgeries in three days ended his boxing career…

Joe Fournier visited the Daily Mail office when discussing his fight with KSI earlier this month

Joe Fournier insists Jake Paul and Tommy Fury both beat KSI – who has ‘no power’

Joe Fournier believes KSI would be beaten by both Jake Paul and Tommy Fury, as he claims the YouTube boxer deliberately elbowed him after realizing the stoppage…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *