"No girl should have to settle into her starting blocks, knowing that no matter how hard you work, you don’t have a fair shot at victory,” said track athlete Chelsea Mitchell. “That’s the situation I faced over and over again throughout my high school career.”
Mitchell is currently embroiled in a legal debate to determine whether biological males who “identify” as females should be allowed to compete in women’s sports in Connecticut, who have a clear biological advantage.
Mitchell is one of four female athletes represented by the Christian legal organization Alliance Defending Freedom in the U.S. District Court for Connecticut, which filed the case Soule v. Connecticut Association of Schools in 2020 after asking the U.S. Department of Education to investigate the policy of Connecticut school districts and the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference allowing biological males to compete against women.
Back in 2019, the Trump Administration's Education department released a letter “finding that the athletic conference’s policy allowing males who identify as female to compete in girls’ athletic events disadvantages female athletes, denies them equal athletic opportunities, and violates federal law.” This letter has been withdrawn by the Biden presidency.
According to the ACLU, the argument that allowing transgender girls to compete on female sports teams will squeeze women out of their own sports is “a very aggressive prediction of what might happen in the future, but has no actual basis in fact.”
“There is room enough on the podium for everyone,” said one representative, adding that accommodating biological females “does not require schools to shove aside girls who are transgender and deny them of participation opportunities.”
Roger Brooks, a lawyer with Alliance Defending Freedom, vehemently disagrees. He cited the case of Terry Miller, a biological male who competed against Mitchell in 2018 and took the girls state championship in the 100-meter dash, pushing Mitchell “off the top-three victory podium.”
“No, there is not room for everyone on the victory podium,” Brooks retorted. "Over the course of two and a half years of athletics seasons, biological males in Connecticut have “taken 15 state championships in girls track events, set a number of state records and have taken more than 85 opportunities for girls to participate in advanced competitions, state and regional championships,” he said.
In addition to Mitchell, Alliance Defending Freedom represents female athletes Selina Soule, Alanna Smith, and Ashley Nicoletti, all of whom lost medals due to the 2013 policy which allowed transgender females to compete in women’s sports.
“Throughout my four years of high school, I was forced to compete against biological males,” Soule said during the press conference after the hearing. District Court Judge Robert Chatigny is presiding over the hearing. A decision should be announced in two to three weeks.