By Carson Eschen and Sonam Hundal
OAKLAND, CA – California Attorney General Rob Bonta Friday filed an amicus curiae (friend-of-the-court) brief in the ongoing Soule v. Connecticut Association of Schools case, supporting the eligibility of transgender students for school sports.
In the Connecticut Association of Schools, transgender athletes are allowed to participate in gender-segregated sports that match with their gender identity.
The plaintiffs in the case allege that this policy discriminates against cisgender females and violates Title IX, materially diminishing their opportunities to compete and win in athletics.
Soule was dismissed in district court back in April, on the grounds that the transgender athletes in question had already graduated, but it is now being heard in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.
Bonta’s brief argues that transgender youth are already at a disadvantage as they face serious harm when it comes to their health and academic lives.
By allowing transgender students to play on sports teams that align with their gender identities, these students are granted great benefits – benefits that are later implemented into general society as well, not just in school, said Bonta.
AG Bonta states, “All of our student athletes deserve a chance to be themselves and participate in the full school experience,” adding that this case is a threat to transgender students because “it’s part of a nationwide attack on the rights of our LGBTQ+ communities.”
Title IX does not explicitly state that transgender students must play on sports teams of their birth-assigned gender. Therefore, Bonta claims, it is within their rights to play on teams of the gender that they choose to identify as.
Despite what the plaintiffs in the case claim about discrimination in regards to cisgender females, Bonta argues that Title IX is meant to ensure equality for student athletes of all gender identities.
Bonta’s brief joins those of 19 other attorneys general supporting transgender athletes.