This past Tuesday, a federal judge in Indiana has ruled that the Indianapolis Public Schools must allow a 10-year-old biological male, who identifies as a transgender female, to rejoin the school’s softball team.
The situation occurred when the transgender student, who played on the all-girls softball team for a year, was no longer allowed to participate after the Indiana State Legislature passed House Bill 1041 protecting women’s sports from biological male participants. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) got involved and filed a lawsuit on behalf of the student.
The bill specifically states that “A male, based on a student’s biological sex at birth in accordance with the student’s genetics and reproductive biology, may not participate on an athlete team or sport designated under this section as being a female, women’s, or girls’ athletic team or sport.”
U.S. District Court Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson moved against HB 1041 by arguing that the bill looked to have violated the federal Title IX which involves sex-based discrimination in sports as well as previous SCOTUS decisions which treat the discrimination of transgender individuals no different than the legal definition of sex discrimination.
According to Magnus-Stinson’s ruling, HB 1041 “raises controversial issues regarding the boundaries of Title IX and whether and how those boundaries should stretch and shift in an ever-changing world,” and that the transgender student in question “has established that she has a strong likelihood of succeeding on the merits” of her suit’s claim.
“She has also established that she would suffer irreparable harm for which there is no adequate legal remedy,” the judge continued.
Ken Falk, legal director for the ACLU of Indiana, said after the ruling was made that they were pleased with the outcome and that the student should “be allowed to play on her school’s softball team.”
He also added, “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.”
Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita also responded to the judge’s ruling, stating that the new law still “remains in effect across the state” and that his office would continue to uphold the law. “The court’s ruling allows only this particular plaintiff to play this particular sport at this particular elementary school,” Rokita stated.
Do you agree with the judge’s ruling on this case?