Maui News

Hawaiʻi Attorney General Leads Coalition in Support of Transgender Student Athletes

December 26, 2020, 3:39 PM HST
* Updated December 24, 8:59 AM
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Hawaiʻi Attorney General Clare E. Connors is co-leading a coalition of 22 attorneys general in support of advancing inclusive policies that will allow transgender athletes to participate in sports consistent with their gender identity.

The coalition is co-led by Hawaiʻi Attorney General Clare E. Connors and New York Attorney General Letitia James.

In an amicus brief filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the coalition supports the plaintiffs-appellees’ challenge to an Idaho law that bars transgender women and girls from participating in sports consistent with their gender identity and provides that any female student athlete may be subject to “an intrusive sex verification process.”  The brief argues that the law “fails to advance any legitimate governmental interest and serves only to stigmatize and exclude an already vulnerable population.”

“Despite its title, Idaho’s ‘Fairness in Women’s Sports Act’ categorically excludes transgender women and girls from participating in women’s sports, unlike every other state in the union,” said Attorney General Connors.  “The law is discriminatory and unconstitutional,” she said.

In many of the amici States, transgender students are ensured nondiscriminatory treatment in school activities and permitted to participate in sports consistent with their gender identity.  The amicus brief states, “the experience of the amici states in administering inclusive policies contradicts the assumption underlying Idaho’s law—that allowing transgender women and girls to participate in women’s sports compromises opportunities for cisgender students.  On the contrary, in the amici States’ experience, inclusive policies benefit all students.”

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Joining Attorneys General James and Connors in the amicus brief are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and the District of Columbia.

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