4th Circuit tells girls their rights don't matter

4th Circuit tells girls their rights don't matter

4th Circuit tells girls their rights don't matter

Attorneys and athletes are speaking out against this week's federal appeals court ruling that overturned West Virginia's ban on males participating in female sports.

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled 2-1 that the law cannot be applied to a 13-year-old boy who has been taking puberty blocking medication and publicly identified as a girl since third grade.

Alliance Defending Freedom is considering all legal options to protect women's sports, including appealing this decision that attorney Rachel Rouleau says strips West Virginia of its ability to protect fairness in women's sports.

"Women and young girls deserve to compete on a level playing field," she insists. "The court's decision undermines equal opportunities and contradicts both biological reality and common sense."

Rouleau has pointed out that Title IX was designed to provide women with fair competition, and West Virginia's women's sports law does the same.

Rouleau, Rachel (ADF) Rouleau

"Across the country, women and girls are unjustly losing medals, podium spots, public recognition, and the opportunity to compete when males take their places," she says. "While everyone knows that men competing against women creates huge disadvantages and safety concerns, the 4th Circuit fell prey to activists who are pushing an ideology over what is just for women and girls."

Former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines quickly responded to the ruling by saying, "Girls don't want this."

In her social media post, she included images of messages from West Virginia athletes "who have had to compete against this boy."

"History will not look kindly on the ACLU or anyone who clearly sends a message to girls that their rights don't matter," added Gaines.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), however, applauds the ruling, calling it "a tremendous victory for our client, transgender West Virginians, and the freedom of all youth to play as who they are."

The lawsuit was brought by the ACLU's West Virginia chapter and LGBTQ interest group Lambda Legal. They sued the state and county boards of education and their superintendents in 2021 after Governor Jim Justice (R) signed HB 3293 into law.

Along with the National Association of Intercollegiate Activities, West Virginia is among the 24 states that have taken steps to save women's sports.