Jul 26, 2022 - Sports

Transgender girl allowed to rejoin her softball team after judge's ruling

Photo of the Indiana state capitol building

The Indiana Capitol building in Indianapolis. Photo: Raymond Boyd via Getty Images

A federal judge ruled Tuesday that a 10-year-old transgender girl in Indiana can rejoin her softball team as the courts consider the state's trans athlete ban.

Why it matters: Earlier this year Indiana, became the eighth state to ban trans girls from participating on sports teams that align with their gender identity. Though the decision only applies to the plaintiff, named A.M. in the lawsuit, it could set a precedent.

Details: "The singling out of transgender females is unequivocally discrimination on the basis of sex, regardless of the policy argument as to why that choice was made," U.S. District Court Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson said in the ruling.

  • "The Court finds that A.M. has established a strong likelihood that she will succeed on the merits of her Title IX claim," wrote Magnus-Stinson, who was appointed by former President Obama. Title IX, a civil rights law, prevents sex-based discrimination in education programs.
  • The injunction will remain in place as litigation continues on the merits of the lawsuit, which was filed in May.

What they're saying: "When misinformation about biology and gender is used to bar transgender girls from school sports it amounts to the same form of sex discrimination that has long been prohibited under Title IX, a law that protects all students — including trans people — on the basis of sex," Kenneth Falk of the Indiana ACLU, who is representing A.M., said in a statement.

  • "We are pleased that Judge Magnus-Stinson has recognized this and required that A.M. be allowed to play on her school’s softball team."

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita (R) tweeted Tuesday that the ruling only applies to A.M. The law itself "remains in effect across the state and we will continue our work to defend this law and to protect Indiana’s K12 students."

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