Wednesday, February 24, 2021 (New York, NY) — Today, Athlete Ally responded to news that the Biden administration has withdrawn support from a Connecticut lawsuit attempting to ban transgender high school student athletes from sports. The lawsuit directly names two young Black transgender women, Athlete Ally Action Award Honorees Andraya Yearwood and Terry Miller, who simply wanted to participate in the sport they love.
The initial statement of interest, filed by former U.S. Attorney General William Barr, was withdrawn by the Justice Department and the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights in advance of a hearing this Friday on a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.
Athlete Ally responded to the Trump administration’s support for the lawsuit when the statement of interest was filed, stating, “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. 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.”
A new report released by the Center of American Progress notes that in states with trans-inclusive policies, including both California and Connecticut, sports participation among high school girls has remained static or increased since their trans-inclusive policies were implemented.
“As an organization that cares deeply about women’s sports, we are committed to ensuring that all women have equal opportunity in and access to sport,” said Anne Lieberman, Director of Policy and Programs at Athlete Ally. “Trans women and girls have never been a threat to women’s sports. We are deeply relieved to see the Biden Administration’s support for transgender athletes in Connecticut, and hope to see this dangerous and discriminatory lawsuit dismissed.
Andraya and Terry found a sport that brought them joy, and worked hard to make their teams proud. They, and all transgender athletes across Connecticut, deserve to be their full selves in all areas of their life, including sports. We hope this is just the beginning of the Biden Administration standing firmly on the side of transgender inclusion in sport, and against the horrific bigotry that Trump perpetuated against transgender youth for the past four years and that state legislators continue to carry out.”