Federal Judge Joseph Goodwin of the Southern District of West Virginia has upheld West Virginia’s law barring transgender student athletes from competing in girls’ and women’s sports, even from playing on girls’ and women’s teams. Goodwin
found that West Virginia’s definition of “biological sex” for school sports is “substantially related to its important interest in providing equal athletic opportunities for females.”
Goodwin further ruled that
the law was designed to “prevent transgender girls from playing on girl’s sports teams,” but said this was legally permissible if there was a substantial government interest in doing so.
The State’s government most assuredly has that interest. After all, as Goodwin also wrote,
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.
…there is much debate over whether and to what extent hormone therapies after puberty can reduce a transgender girl’s athletic advantage over cisgender girls. …
The fact is, however, that a transgender girl is biologically male and, barring medical intervention, would undergo male puberty like other biological males. And biological males generally outperform females athletically. The state is permitted to legislate sports rules on this basis because sex, and the physical characteristics that flow from it, are substantially related to athletic performance and fairness in sports[.]
Biological men—which is what they are, from the bottom of their DNA and XY chromosomes on up through their stronger muscles and larger bones (which actually began their development differing from women development in the womb)—regardless of how they might self-identify or how much hormone therapy or gender surgery they might have gone through, have no business competing against women in sports. That denies the women contestants their own opportunities for recognition and financial aid.
Sports, too, are the path out of poverty-ridden neighborhoods for girls and young women just as it is for lots of young men; this path would be denied them by transgendered men competing against them.
Biological men, however transgendered, by competing against women in sports erases women, their very womanhood, in sports.
There is a Title IX case, using the transgendereds’ logic that the law’s specification of sex is broader than biology, for sports programs to create Transgender Athletic Associations/Conferences/Leagues for transgender athletes to compete in. They should make that case. Better, though, would be for Congress to update Title IX to the current state of medical technology and mandate explicitly transgender athletic programs.
Goodwin’s ruling can be read here.