WASHINGTON – West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morris said Thursday he is asking the conservative-majority Supreme Court to allow the state to ban transgender athletes from participating in girls’ sports.
Morris, a Republican, said he would file an emergency application with the court later on Thursday. If their request is accepted, the state will be able to implement a law enacted in 2021 called the Save Women’s Sports Act.
Prohibiting transgender girls from participating in girls’ sports at the middle school, high school and college levels, the law states that gender “is based solely on the reproductive biology and genetics of the individual at birth.” As such, a woman is a person “whose biological sex is determined at birth as female,” it says.
In a statement, Morris said, “We are determined to protect opportunities for women and girls in sport because when biological males win in a women’s event – as has happened time and again – female athletes lose the opportunity to shine.” Are.”
The law was challenged by a transgender girl, Becky Pepper-Jackson, then 11, who wanted to try out for cross country and track teams in middle school. He is supported by the American Civil Liberties Union and the LGBTQ group Lambda Legal.
Her lawyers said the law violated the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which requires that the law apply equally to all, as well as Title IX of the Education Amendment Act of 1972, which prohibits discrimination in education. Is.
A federal judge initially blocked the law but concluded in January that it was most likely legal and allowed it to take effect. Beckey appealed, and last month the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals based in Richmond, Virginia again struck down the law.
The West Virginia law, supported by the conservative religious legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, is one of a series of measures enacted by Republican states that seek to restrict the participation of transgender athletes in sports.
The Supreme Court ruled in favor of transgender rights in 2020 that a federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in employment applied to gay and transgender people. It has not yet ruled whether the same reasoning applies to Title IX.
In 2021, the court declined to take up the case of the question of whether transgender students can use the school bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity.