Skip to content

Female athletes to MT Supreme Court: Protect equality of sexes in sports

ADF attorneys file friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of five female athletes
UK Athletics acknowledged reality when it detailed its position on male athletes who identify as female

HELENA, Mont. – Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of five female athletes Wednesday with the Montana Supreme Court, urging it to protect athletic opportunities for women. Montana enacted the Save Women’s Sports Act in 2021 to promote sex equality and women’s civil rights by ensuring fair competition through the protection of sports based on sex. However, a state court ruled against the law, wrongly concluding that Montana public university officials have exclusive authority to regulate athletic competition on public college campuses.

ADF attorneys and co-counsel Justin Oliveira, one of more than 4,700 attorneys in the ADF Attorney Network, filed the brief in Barrett v. State of Montana arguing that the Montana Legislature had the power and justification to enact the law. They filed the brief on behalf of athletes Selina Soule, Chelsea MitchellMadison Kenyon, Macy Petty, and Cynthia Monteleone. As the brief notes, the women have all competed against and lost to men in athletic competitions ranging from swimming to volleyball to track and field.

“Women deserve fair and safe athletic competition, and that can only be achieved by protecting women’s sports based on sex, as Montana has wisely done,” said ADF Senior Counsel Christiana Kiefer. “As many female athletes have sadly experienced firsthand, it’s demoralizing to know your personal best can’t measure up to the physical advantages of male athletes. We urge the Montana Supreme Court to do right by female athletes and uphold the state’s law that protects fair and equal opportunities for women.”

ADF attorneys are litigating several women’s sports cases, including the following:

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.

# # #