Politics & Policy

Congressional Dems Sign Letter Demanding Education Dept. Allow Males in Girls Sports

Senator Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.) on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., May 1, 2019 (Aaron P. Bernstein/Reuters)

A group of congressional Democrats signed a letter on Wednesday demanding that the Department of Education allow males to participate in girls sports.

Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal and 27 other Democratic members of Congress signed the letter, which stated that the department’s order “discriminates against transgender youth” by ruling that it is a violation of women’s access to education and athletics for public schools to allow biological males who identify as female to participate in female sports.

“The decision of the Department of Education to issue a determination targeting transgender student athletes on the eve of Pride Month is not coincidental. It is a transparent example of their campaign against the rights and dignity of LGBTQ+ children,” said lead signer Connecticut Representative Jahana Hayes in a statement.

The Education Department’s ruling, issued on May 15, provoked backlash from Democrats and transgender rights advocates, who called it “another attack from the Trump administration on transgender students.”

In March, the Justice Department filed a statement of interest in a federal case against the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference’s policy requiring males to compete against females. Three female high-school students and their families filed a federal lawsuit seeking to block transgender athletes from competing in girls sports in Connecticut. The female athletes argued that they have been personally been harmed by a policy allowing biological males to compete against them in their running events, missing their chances at championship titles, state records, and scholarship opportunities. The girls also filed a complaint last year with the Department of Education.

One of the girls, Chelsea Mitchell, who attended Canton High School, missed out on achieving the title of state champion four times because she was competing against transgender athletes. Another, Alanna Smith, who went to Danbury High School and is the daughter of former MLB pitcher Lee Smith, has placed close behind transgender competitors as well.

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