Fri. May 24th, 2024

Federal appeals court overturns West Virginia’s transgender sports ban

By 37ci3 Apr16,2024

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, a Republican who defended the lawsuit on behalf of the state, said in a statement that he was “deeply disappointed” by the decision and vowed to fight to keep the law in place.

“We must continue to work to protect women’s sports so that women are safe and girls have a truly fair playing field,” she said. “We know the law is right and we will use every means available to defend it.”

Tuesday’s ruling comes as the debate over whether transgender athletes can compete in gender-identifying sports continues to be a lightning rod issue in the nation’s culture wars.

West Virginia’s governor, Republican Jim Justice, signed the state’s transgender sports bill into law in 2021, making West Virginia one of the first states to impose restrictions on transgender athletes. It is now one of 24 states to pass this law Motion Development Project, a think tank that tracks policies affecting the LGBTQ community. According to MAP, the temporary bans block some laws, including those in Arizona, Idaho and Utah.

Proponents of the measures argued that trans girls and women have biological advantages over cisgender girls and women, making their inclusion in girls’ and women’s sports unfair and potentially dangerous.

In his ruling Tuesday, Judge G. Steven Agee agreed.

“By continuing to allow BPJ and transgender girls like BPJ to participate on girls’ teams, the number of displaced biological girls will grow exponentially,” Agee wrote. “Furthermore, as places on teams become more limited, BPJ will prevent other biological girls from participating on teams, thereby depriving them of any sporting opportunity.”

Opponents have described the laws as a discriminatory restriction on trans people to prevent them from participating in the sport.

Becky Pepper-Jackson works in Bridgeport, W.Va. in 2021.
Becky Pepper-Jackson works in Bridgeport, W.Va. in 2021.ACLU via AFP – Getty Images

Pepper-Jackson has been allowed to participate on her school’s girls cross country team since the appeals court. temporarily suspended the implementation of the law In February 2023.

“I want to keep going because it’s something I love to do and I’m just not going to give it up,” Pepper-Jackson previously told NBC News. “It’s something I really love and I’m not going to give it up.”

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By 37ci3

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