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4th Circuit ruling threatens women's sports, ADF considers appeal

West Virginia soccer player Lainey Armistead leans against a soccer goal

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel Rachel Rouleau regarding a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit Tuesday in B.P.J. v. West Virginia State Board of Education that strips West Virginia of its ability to protect fairness in women’s sports:

“Women and young girls deserve to compete on a level playing field. The court’s decision undermines equal opportunities and contradicts both biological reality and common sense. Title IX was designed to provide women with fair competition, and West Virginia’s women’s sports law does the same. Across the country, women and girls are unjustly losing medals, podium spots, public recognition, and the opportunity to compete when males take their places. While everyone knows that men competing against women creates huge disadvantages and safety concerns, the 4th Circuit fell prey to activists who are pushing an ideology over what is just for women and girls. We are considering all legal options to protect women’s sports, including an appeal of this decision.”

In a dissent accompanying the court’s opinion, Judge G. Steven Agee noted that the opinion “turns Title IX on its head and reverses the monumental work Title IX has done to promote girls’ sports from its inception.” As one example, “B.P.J. displaced at least one hundred biological girls at track-and-field events and pushed multiple girls out of the top ten. Similarly, by making the conference championships in two events (something reserved for the top three girls on a team), B.P.J. took away at least two biological girls’ opportunities to participate in the conference championships. And this was in a single season. Thanks to the new-found rubric of today’s majority opinion, such displacement will become commonplace.”

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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Rachel Csutoros
Rachel Rouleau
Legal Counsel
Rachel Rouleau serves as legal counsel for the Center for Conscience Initiatives with Alliance Defending Freedom.