Joe Biden’s Department of Justice (DOJ) withdrew its support for a lawsuit brought by three female high school athletes in Connecticut claiming that females being forced to compete against biological men violates Title IX.
Donald Trump’s DOJ, led by former Attorney General Bill Barr, backed the lawsuit, agreeing that women were being denied Title IX protection.
“Under CIAC’s interpretation of Title IX … schools may not account for the real physiological differences between men and women,” Barr said in a March 2020 statement. “Instead, schools must have certain biological males — namely, those who publicly identify as female — compete against biological females. In so doing, CIAC deprives those women of the single-sex athletic competitions that are one of the marquee accomplishments of Title IX.”
One of those athletes, Alanna Smith, and her attorney, Christina Holcomb, who is with the Alliance Defending Freedom, were guests on Fox News.
“Fairness needs to be restored in our sport and all other women’s sports … these biological males are just taking it away from us,” Smith said when asked why she and her fellow athletes filed the lawsuit.
A lawsuit was filed in federal court by three high school girls and their mothers against the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC), which has permitted boys to compete in events and win awards that would otherwise have gone to girls. Selina Soule, Alanna Smith, and Chelsea Mitchell, represented by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), were denied opportunities to compete at higher levels as boys took home the prizes. CIAC’s policy allowed two males to compete in girls’ athletic competitions beginning in the 2017 track season. Those boys have taken 15 women’s state championship titles (titles held in 2016 by nine different Connecticut girls) and have taken more than 85 opportunities to participate in higher level competitions from female track athletes in the 2017, 2018, and 2019 seasons alone.
“I got involved after I ran against the biological males at the New England meet because in the 200 meter I took third place when I should have gotten runner-up,” Smith said. “And it’s not really about placement but it’s all about knowing that I work so many hours a week to be able to get runner-up in New England’s [championships] as a freshman.
“And I am really disappointed in the news, because me and the other girls, Selina and Chelsea, have worked really hard to get our stories out there, to get people to realize that fairness needs to be restored in our sport and all other women’s sports,” Smith added.
Holcomb was asked about the future of the lawsuit given the DOJ’s decision.
“The lawsuit absolutely moves forward, but as you mentioned, this was clearly a politically motivated decision to side with radical activists over female athletes like Alanna,” Holcomb said.
“But what’s even more concerning is this effort to gut legal protection for women is not just isolated to what we see in Connecticut,” Holcomb said. “Even now, the Biden administration is pushing the so-called Equality Act, which ignores the real physical differences between men and women and threatens women’s privacy, women’s homeless shelters, and yes, even women’s sports on a national level for female athletes like Alanna.”
The House, in fact, passed the Equality Act on a 224-206 vote on Thursday. The bill expands the definition of biological sex to include “gender identity” — opening the door to more legal challenges.
“Title IX was designed to ensure that girls like Alanna have a fair and level playing field, have a chance to showcase their talents, to be champions, and frankly, to earn those college scholarships,” Holcomb said. “So we want to move forward and we want to see women’s sports protected across the country.”
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