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Female track athletes sue Connecticut over trans policy

Connecticut track stars, from left, Selina Soule, Chelsea Mitchell, and Alanna Smith.
by WorldTribune Staff, June 4, 2023

Two biological males who identified as females and competed in female track meets in Connecticut were so dominant that they “took so many opportunities away from biological females,” a female athlete who is suing to stop the state's trans policy told the New York Post.

“Even though there were only two of them, they took 15 state championships away from other girls — and there were 85 girls that were directly impacted from them being in the races,” said Chelsea Mitchell, one of four female track athletes who are suing the Connecticut Association of Schools and the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference for allowing biological males to compete in girls’ sports.

Mitchell, said she lost 20 races in her career because the state sees no issue with allowing males who simply identify as female to compete against females.

“At the end of the day, this is just about fairness,” Mitchell told the New York Post. “This is about biology.”

Mitchell is joined in her lawsuit is by fellow Connecticut female track athletes Selina Soule, Ashley Nicoletti, and Alanna Smith. If successful, the four female athletes will force Connecticut to change their policy by requiring athletes to compete according to their biological sex, not gender identity.

“I wanted to give voice to my story and help other girls out there so that they wouldn’t have to experience this,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell said all of the work she put in to win a state championship hit an almost impossible-to-imagine roadblock when she was forced to compete against a male runner who ultimately derailed her chances.

“It was just obvious to everyone there that they had a huge advantage. Everyone could see it,” Mitchell said.

The following year there were two transgender runners active in Connecticut girls’ track, and over the remainder of Mitchell’s high school career, these biological male athletes dominated the field.

Mitchell’s first legal move against the state came in her junior year when she challenged Connecticut’s policies with an anonymous Title IX complaint, the New York Post reported. But Mitchell realized any serious effort with a chance of success needed her name behind it.

“It was like, if I don’t speak up for myself, who else is going to speak up for me? As much as I wanted the coaches and administrators to speak up, at the end of the day, they weren’t,” Mitchell explained.

Smith, Soule, Nicoletti, and Mitchell’s lawsuit is set to be heard on June 6 before the U.S. Second Court of Appeals in New York City.

A three-judge panel of the same court ruled against her in December. Mitchell’s legal team at the Alliance Defending Freedom remains “hopeful” that the full court will rule to protect girls and women’s sports.

“We’re hopeful that the court will declare that this Connecticut policy violates Title IX,” said Mitchell’s lawyer Matt Sharp. “We’re asking for the court to recognize the damage done to Chelsea and the other athletes, and to restore their record and the credit that they rightfully worked hard to earn.”

If successful, the lawsuit will force Connecticut to amend the athletes’ records to reflect where they would have finished if the biological male athletes had never been in the competitions.

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