Sunday, July 23, 2023

Federal judge temporarily blocks Arizona law banning trans athletes from competing in female-designated sports

 I know how some folks feel about trans women and girls (strangely the concern hardly ever touches trans men and boys) competing in sports, but here is something to consider. In spite of all of the preconceived notions fueling opposition to trans female athletes, maybe there is simply no concrete evidence that trans females have an unfair advantage over cis female athletes.

From Metro Weekly

A federal judge has blocked Arizona from enforcing a law prohibiting transgender athletes from competing in female-designated sports. U.S. District Judge Jennifer Zipps, of the District of Arizona, granted a preliminary injunction blocking the state from enforcing the Save Women’s Sports Act. The law prohibits transgender female athletes from competing in sports matching their gender identity and allows cisgender students to sue for damages if they believe they have lost out on an athletic opportunity after being forced to compete against a transgender athlete.

 The ban on transgender athletes was challenged by a 15-year-old volleyball player, referred to as Megan Roe, and an 11-year-old, referred to as Jane Doe, who wishes to play girls’ soccer, basketball and cross-country. Because neither has yet undergone male puberty, and both are on puberty blockers, they argue they don’t have a physical or physiological advantage and should be allowed to compete on teams matching their gender identity.

 In her order granting the injunction, Zipps found that the law is “overly broad” because it bans transgender female athletes, including those at the elementary school level, from girls’ sports teams, despite the lack of evidence proving that pre-pubertal athletes hold some physiological or unfair competitive advantage over other children based solely on their assigned sex at birth. She also noted that the ban treats transgender boys and transgender girls differently, noting that transgender boys — whom the state and proponents of the ban refer to as “biological girls” — are permitted to play on male-designated teams, despite the alleged physical risks that they would presumably face by competing against “biological male” athletes. 

 Zipps also noted that, under the law, even cisgender female athletes can be investigated and forced to submit to genetic testing to “prove” their biological sex.