A federal district court issued a decision Thursday, January 5, 2023 that upholds HB 3293 and prevents biological males who identify as females to compete with biological females in girls' and women's sports.
Matt Sharp of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a law firm representing biological female athletes in these and other Title IX cases, is encouraged to see the court follow the law and common sense.
"We all know that there are differences between men and women and that when it comes to the playing field, men have advantages," he notes. "That's why West Virginia took this step to make sure that its young women would not be deprived of a spot on the podium or an opportunity."
He says this issue may one day work its way up to the Supreme Court, but for now, it is still relatively new. "We're hopeful that the victory we saw in West Virginia is just one of many to come that's going to uphold these laws" and recognize that women should not be denied fairness on the playing field, the attorney tells AFN.
West Virginia was among the 18 states that responded to one of ADF's cases in Connecticut involving four young women who were denied opportunities, including championships, because of a policy that allows males to compete in women's categories. Following Idaho's lead, those states passed laws to protect the fairness and integrity of women's sports in their states.
Meanwhile, Sharp asserts that this issue is bigger than sports and games.
"93-94% of women CEOs and business leaders have participated in sports, and they talked about how vital it was to giving them leadership skills, overcoming adversity, and all these other things," the attorney notes. "So if we are allowing men to take spots on women's teams, not only are we harming those young women today who are being denied the chance to compete, the chance to win, but we may be denying them skills and life lessons that propel them to success down the road."
Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys represented Lainey Armistead (pictured above), a former West Virginia State University soccer player who intervened in the lawsuit, B.P.J. v. West Virginia State Board of Education, to defend the law.