U.S. Attorney General William Barr argues against transgender athletes competing as girls

The U.S. Department of Justice is weighing in on the debate about transgender athletes competing as girls and women.

It does not think they should.

Attorney General William Barr signed a formal statement of interest on Wednesday addressing a federal civil rights lawsuit in Connecticut that seeks to block transgender athletes from competing as girls in interscholastic sports, the Associated Press reports.

Barr argued against the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference policy allowing athletes to compete based on their gender identity.

The CIAC argued in a lawsuit filed in February that the policy complies with state law requiring students to be treated as the gender with which they identify. The organization also argues that its policy is compliant with Title IX, the federal law requiring equal rights for girls and women in educational settings and is frequently applied to athletics.

DOJ’s stance

Barr argued that the CIAC’s policy actually deprives women and girls of their Title IX protections.

“Under CIAC's interpretation of Title IX, however, schools may not account for the real physiological differences between men and women,” a statement from Barr’s DOJ reads, according to AP. “Instead, schools must have certain biological males — namely, those who publicly identify as female — compete against biological females.

“In so doing, CIAC deprives those women of the single-sex athletic competitions that are one of the marquee accomplishments of Title IX.”

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