West Virginia's Transgender Sports Ban Gets Bad News

4th US Circuit Court of Appeals says it's a Title IX violation
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 16, 2024 10:55 AM CDT
Court Dumps West Virginia's Transgender Sports Ban
A 12-year-old transgender swimmer is seen waiting by a pool on Feb. 22, 2021, in Utah.   (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

A federal appeals court has overturned a West Virginia transgender sports ban, finding that the law violates Title IX, the federal civil-rights law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in schools. The ruling Tuesday from the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals blocks a West Virginia law banning transgender girls from playing on girls sports teams, reports the AP. The court said the law can't lawfully be applied to a 13-year-old girl who has been taking puberty-blocking medication and publicly identified as a girl since she was in the third grade. West Virginia is one of at least 24 states with a law on the books barring transgender women and girls from competing in certain women's or girls sports competitions.

Sports participation is one of the main fronts in legislative and legal battles in recent years over the role of transgender people in US public life. Most Republican-controlled states have passed restrictions on participation, as well as bans on gender-affirming health care for minors. The bans are in effect in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Wyoming. In addition to West Virginia, judges have temporarily put enforcement of the bans on hold in Arizona, Idaho, and Utah. A ban in Ohio is to take effect later this month.

(More transgender rights stories.)

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