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A West Virginia law prohibiting people from competing on single-sex sports teams that don’t match their biological sex is constitutional, a judge ruled.
The 2021 law in question, called the Save Women’s Sports Bill, barred biological males from participating in female sports, claiming “biological males would displace females to a substantial extent if permitted to compete on teams designated for biological females.”
The passing of the bill resulted in an 11-year old “transgender” male named B.P.J. filing a lawsuit against the state because he wanted to compete in female sports at his middle school but was being discriminated “on the basis of sex and transgender status” in violation of the 14th Amendment and Title IX of the Education Amendments Act.
U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin, a Clinton appointee, threw out the lawsuit on Thursday, arguing that “acting to prevent transgender girls, along with all other biological males, from playing on girls’ teams is not unconstitutional if the classification is substantially related to an important government interest.”
“This is not an overbroad generalization, but rather a general principle that realistically reflects the average physical differences between the sexes,” the judge wrote in his 23-page ruling, adding that there are “inherent physical differences” between male and female.
Given B.P.J.’s concession that circulating testosterone in males creates a biological difference in athletic performance, I do not see how I could find that the state’s classification based on biological sex is not substantially related to its interest in providing equal athletic opportunities for females.
The fact is…that a transgender girl is biologically male and, barring medical intervention, would undergo male puberty like other biological males. And biological males generally outperform females athletically.
The state is permitted to legislate sports rules on this basis because sex, and the physical characteristics that flow from it, are substantially related to athletic performance and fairness in sports.
Goodwin also said the law doesn’t violate Title IX because it still lets B.P.J. and other children play on teams matching their biological sex.
“B.P.J. argues that transgender girls are similarly situated to cisgender girls, and therefore their exclusion from girls’ teams is unlawful discrimination. But as I have already discussed, transgender girls are biologically male,” the judge said.
Short of any medical intervention that will differ for each individual person, biological males are not similarly situated to biological females for purposes of athletics. And, despite her repeated argument to the contrary, transgender girls are not excluded from school sports entirely. They are permitted to try out for boys’ teams, regardless of how they express their gender.
This is a victory for common sense and biological reality.
Read the judge’s ruling:
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