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West Virginia takes women’s sports act to Supreme Court, armed with Alliance Defending Freedom


West Virginia is taking women’s fairness in sports to the Supreme Court, and according to Alliance Defending Freedom, they’re hopeful the Court will rule in their favor.

This marks the first time the High Court has been asked to weigh in on the issue of biological men competing in women’s sports.

ADF legal counsel Rachel Csutoros recently sat down for an interview with John Wesley Reid, editor-in-chief of the Standing for Freedom Center, to discuss the significance of the case and what it could mean for the future of women’s sports. She said that ADF is “hopeful” the Supreme Court will lift the injunction.

West Virginia first passed the “Save Women’s Sport’s Act” in April 2021. The law requires that male and female sports teams in public secondary schools and colleges are based on biological sex, not gender identity. It was quickly challenged by a transgender male athlete who wants to compete against females in track and field and cross-country events.

A federal district court upheld the law earlier this year, ruling,

“While some females may be able to outperform some males, it is generally accepted that, on average, males outperform females athletically because of inherent physical differences between the sexes. This is not an overbroad generalization, but rather a general principle that realistically reflects the average physical differences between the sexes. Given [the challenger]’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.”

Within weeks, though, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued an injunction blocking the law, without any legal justification or explanation. The move allows transgender athletes to compete during the spring sports season and potentially beyond.

ADF, which is representing former college soccer player Lainey Armistead, joined West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey in filing the request with the Supreme Court to lift the injunction. , asking it to step in and allow the law to take effect even as the case continues through the appellate process.

This will be the first time the Supreme Court has heard a case surrounding a law banning males from women’s sports.

During the interview with Reid, Csutoros said ADF is hopeful that the Court will eradicate the injunction and uphold the law “because there are women athletes across the country who are losing opportunities, losing podium spots,” and that it will “ensure fairness in women’s sports for athletes like Lainey, our client in this case, just to ensure that women have equal opportunities to compete in sports.”

She credits the push to allow males to compete in women’s sports to activists who are “rejecting reality and choosing ideology over what’s right,” warning that “when we ignore biology, when we ignore common sense, women and girls are the ones who pay the price.”

The girls paying that price are numerous. Csutoros noted that ADF is supporting two female athletes standing up to protect Idaho’s Fairness in Women’s Sports Act “after they were forced to compete against male athletes in their college career,” as well as several female athletes in Connecticut, “where we saw two males take 15 women’s track championship titles away from 9 different women that held those titles. And so, we are seeing this. This is pervasive across the country. And really the activists are rejecting reality and choosing ideology over women. And girls just deserve to compete on a fair and level playing field.”

Csutoros added that the District Court, which heard testimony and ruled on the merits of the case, upheld the West Virginia law because “it is consistent with Title IX. This is constitutional, it protects women and girls, [and] it ensures they can be champions in their own sports.”

ADF client Lainey Armistead said that when she heard about girls “losing out” to male athletes she was “devastated for them because I know how much work all these athletes have put into their individual sports.”

She knows the disadvantage girls face when playing against men. “I grew up playing under my dad’s teams and then playing against my brothers. And I noticed from a really young age that there was a big biological difference even between my younger brother. Even though I was two years older, he was still stronger, fitter, and faster than me.”

She said when she was privileged to defend the West Virginia law “and defend all the girls and women in West Virginia from not having to play against biological males.”

The debate over women’s sports has been raging for years now. Numerous incidences of males defeating females have gained attention and served to create a desire to protect women from males taking over their sports. According to Reuters, 18 states have passed bills that prohibit anyone born male from competing against females.

Former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines, who has become an outspoken advocate for keeping males out of women’s sports, says that letting males compete isn’t progressive. “We are not moving forward. This is actually quite the opposite. We’re going back 50 years in time to before Title IX,” said Gaines, who tied for fifth with transgender swimmer William “Lia” Thomas at the NCAA national championships.

She has since advocated for the NCAA to end its policy requiring female athletes to share a locker room with those who are biologically male, noting that female athletes feel uncomfortable and even traumatized at not just competing against male athletes but also being forced to share locker rooms and private spaces with them. Gaines has called on more people to speak out.

She is right. Gaines, Armistead, ADF, and many more are doing what they can to protect women’s sports. More need to join them, but far too many are staying on the sidelines, afraid to draw the outrage of the LGBT cartel and the media. It’s time for more people to stand up and make their voices heard.

1 Peter 3:7 states,

“You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.”

God’s Word tells us that men and women are different and calls on men to treat women with honor and understanding. It doesn’t honor women to pretend that men can be women and then let those men compete against females, over whom they have an obvious physical advantage. It doesn’t honor women to force them to see a naked man walking around and showering in their locker room.

The Supreme Court should uphold the District Court’s ruling on West Virginia’s law, which recognized the right of women to have sports free from men as Title IX requires, and more Americans must stand up and speak out against the LGBTQ movement’s mission to invade women’s spaces.

Follow John on Twitter! @JohnWesleyReid

Ready to dive deeper into the intersection of faith and policy? Head over to our Theology of Politics series page where we’ve published several long-form pieces that will help Christians navigate where their faith should direct them on political issues.

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