New York (March 26, 2020) — Athlete Ally responded today to US Attorney General William Barr’s signing of a statement of interest on behalf of the Department of Justice to block transgender athletes in Connecticut from participating in sports. In the statement, Barr argues that transgender athletes are not protected under Title IX, despite the fact that this position is not reflected or even supported within the text of Title IX.
“Athlete Ally is appalled that the federal government is actively seeking to harm vulnerable youth at a time when our country is facing the dangerous pandemic of COVID-19,” said Hudson Taylor, Founder and Executive Director of Athlete Ally. “We continue to stand in support of Andraya Yearwood and Terry Miller in Connecticut — and trans athletes everywhere — and their right to participate in sports.
This is yet another blow in a continued, deliberate attack by the Trump Administration and the Alliance Defending Freedom against trans youth, at a time when they are under increased risk. Trans youth are less likely to have access to essential health services, mental health treatment, and safe housing, all of which makes them especially at risk during this global pandemic. What they need, right now and every day, is compassion and support, not cruel and violent attacks on their fundamental humanity.”
The lawsuit in Connecticut is not an isolated incident; right now in Idaho, lawmakers are pushing Governor Brad Little to ban trans female athletes from all middle, high school, and college sports altogether through House Bill 500. Athlete Ally has joined more than 50 organizations in urging Governor Little to veto HB500, which he now has less than a week to do. We ask our network to please join us in phone banking from home and spreading the word that trans youth belong in sport.