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9th Circuit Rules 'No Right to Privacy' in Trans Bathroom Case - Three Girls Sue CT Over Trans Athlete Policy

02-13-2020
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High school athlete Selina Soule, who competes within the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference. (Image credit: Alliance Defending Freedom)
High school athlete Selina Soule competes within the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference. (Image credit: Alliance Defending Freedom)

ABOVE: Alliance Defending Freedom Attorney Christiana Holcomb appeared on the Thursday afternoon edition of CBN Newswatch to discuss the case. Newswatch is seen weekdays on the CBN News Channel.  For a programming schedule, click here.

The most liberal federal appeals court in the country has upheld a pro-transgender ruling. A lower court had dismissed a lawsuit against an Oregon school district that had allowed a transgender student to use bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers that match his gender identity. 

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld that decision, saying the policy does not violate other students' or parents' privacy.

The Ninth Circuit ruling said Dallas School District No. 2 in Dallas, Oregon did not violate Title IX and other constitutional rights of other students and parents when it initiated the policy, according to The Recorder

"We hold further that the Fourteenth Amendment does not provide a fundamental parental right to determine the bathroom policies of the public schools to which parents may send their children," the court said in its Feb. 12 decision in Parents for Privacy v. Barr.

NO RIGHT TO PRIVACY

The ruling also states, "The panel held that there is no Fourteenth Amendment fundamental privacy right to avoid all risk of intimate exposure to or by a transgender person who was assigned the opposite biological sex at birth."

The Ninth Circuit's decision was consistent with a recent wave of federal district and appeals court rulings that have ruled in favor of transgender student rights and against privacy arguments raised by students who object to using the same locker rooms as transgender students. 

The Supreme Court last May declined to hear an appeal in a case from Pennsylvania in which lower federal courts upheld a school district's pro-transgender policy against a similar challenge by objecting students.

TRANSGENDER ATHLETES LAWSUIT

Meanwhile, in Connecticut, a new lawsuit is putting the spotlight on women's sports in high school, the threat from transgender athletes, and the focus on Title IX - a federal law designed to protect equal athletic opportunities for women and girls.

Connecticut is one of 17 states that allow male athletes who identify as female to compete against female athletes.


Transgender athlete Terry Miller wins the 55-meter dash over trans athlete Andraya Yearwood, far left, both defeating the girls in the Connecticut girls Class S indoor track meet at Hillhouse High School in New Haven, Conn., Feb. 7, 2019 (AP photo)

On Wednesday, three female athletes and their mothers filed suit in a federal court in Hartford. They want the state to revise its athletic rules that allow boys to compete in girls' sports. According to the Alliance for Defending Freedom, the girls have asked a simple question. Do female athletes deserve the right to compete on a level playing field? That's why Title IX was created. 

"Now when we line up in front of our blocks and the starters call us to get in position, we all know how the race will end," said Selina Soule, one of the plaintiffs. "We can't win. We've lived it. We've watched it happen. We've missed out on medals and opportunities to compete."

The Connecticut Association of Schools and the state Interscholastic Athletic Conference say the transgender policy follows a state anti-discrimination law. The law says students must be treated according to the gender by which they identify. It also says the policy is appropriate under federal law.

The lawsuit follows a Title IX complaint filed by the female athletes and their families with the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights.

As CBN News reported last August, the federal government announced it would investigate the allegations of discrimination filed by the three girls against Connecticut's policy regarding transgender athletes. 

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