Three teenage athletes have launched a legal case against a policy allowing men to compete in women’s events if they identify as female.
The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference’s policy was introduced in 2017, and since then biological boys have consistently outperformed girls in athletic events.
Selina Soule, Chelsea Mitchell and Alanna Smith say the policy has cost them top rankings and opportunities to compete at elite levels.
Two biological males currently hold 15 women’s state championship titles between them. In 2016 they were held by nine different girls.
Mitchell would have won the 2019 state championship in the women’s 55-metre indoor track race if two males had not placed first and second.
She said: “Our dream is not to come in second or third place, but to win fair and square”.
“All we’re asking for is a fair chance”.
Smith added: “Mentally and physically, we know the outcome before the race even starts”.
“That biological unfairness doesn’t go away because of what someone believes about gender identity. All girls deserve the chance to compete on a level playing field”.
Religious liberty group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which is bringing the case, says the policy contravenes federal legislation protecting equal opportunities for females in sports.
Christiana Holcomb, Legal Counsel for ADF, said: “Girls deserve to compete on a level playing field. Forcing them to compete against boys isn’t fair, shatters their dreams, and destroys their athletic opportunities”.
In October, columnist Celia Walden said transgender policies are “killing women’s sports”, after a man living as a woman broke a cycling world record.
Rachel McKinnon, who was born male, won the Women’s Sprint 35 to 39-year-old age category at the Masters Track Cycling World Championships for the second year in a row.
Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Celia Walden said society has reached “peak gender insanity”.
British cycling champion Victoria Hood said: “The science is there. The science is clear – it tells us that trans women have an advantage”.
The International Cycling Union has amended its rules for transgender competitors starting from March.
The maximum testosterone level allowed for trans cyclists to compete in women’s events will be halved in an attempt to “level the playing field for all competitors”.
Nicola Williams, Director of Fair Play for Women, welcomed the move but said the rules will still be unfair towards women.