ARIZONA NEWS

Federal judge blocks Arizona law banning transgender athletes from girls’ sports teams

Jul 21, 2023, 6:25 AM | Updated: 10:35 am

A federal judge on Thursday, July 20, 2023, temporarily blocked Arizona from enforcing a law bannin...

A federal judge on Thursday, July 20, 2023, temporarily blocked Arizona from enforcing a law banning transgender girls from playing on girls' school sports teams. (Pixabay Photo)

(Pixabay Photo)

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — A federal judge on Thursday temporarily blocked Arizona from enforcing a law banning transgender girls from playing on girls’ school sports teams.

The judge in Tucson granted a preliminary injunction to allow processing of a lawsuit filed on behalf of two transgender girls against the state’s “Save Women’s Sports Act,” which was passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature last year.

The lawsuit argues the law violates federal Title IX, the law barring sex discrimination in schools receiving federal funds, and the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne, who is a defendant in the case, said the decision will be appealed.

“This will ultimately be decided by the United States Supreme Court, and they will rule in our favor,” Horne said in a statement.

Arizona is one of several states and some school districts that have passed laws limiting access to school sports teams or other facilities to students on the basis of the sex they were assigned at birth rather than their gender identity.

The Arizona plaintiffs include a 15-year-old volleyball player and an 11-year-old who wants to play girls’ soccer, basketball and cross-country. In court filings, they have been named Jane Doe and Megan Roe.

Parents of both children said they were pleased with the court’s decision.

“We are relieved that the judge saw past the misconceptions and harmful rhetoric used to demonize transgender girls. Our daughter is looking forward to making new friends and playing the sports that she loves,” Jane Doe’s parents said in a statement from the National Center for Lesbian Rights, which is helping to represent them.

Arizona officials have said the law passes federal muster because it aims at fairness.

“Title IX was aimed at giving girls equal opportunities for playing sports. When a biological boy plays in a girls’ sport, it disadvantages the girls,” Horne told The Associated Press when the lawsuit was filed in April. “There have been lots of news stories about girls who worked hard to excel at their sports, found they could not when they had to compete against biological boys and were devastated by that.”

In issuing the preliminary injunction, however, Judge Jennifer G. Zipps said there was no evidence that allowing the children, who have been prescribed puberty blockers for gender dysphoria, to play on girls’ teams would have an athletic advantage or prove a safety risk to other players.

Rather, the judge said the children will “suffer severe and irreparable mental, physical, and emotional harm if the Act applies to them because they cannot play on boys’ sports teams” which would be “painful and humiliating.”

“There is a consensus among medical organizations that gender identity is innate and cannot be changed through psychological or medical treatments,” the ruling said.

“Plaintiffs’ mental health is dependent on living as girls in all aspects of their lives,” the judge wrote.

LGBTQ+ rights advocates say bills like the one passed in Arizona and hundreds more across the U.S. are anti-transgender attacks disguised as protections for children and that they use transgender people as political pawns to galvanize GOP voters ahead of an election year.

Courts have blocked some measures in several states, including last week in Wisconsin.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

A man is dead after he was shot overnight in north phoenix....

KTAR.com

Parking dispute leaves Phoenix man dead in overnight shooting

A man is dead after he was shot overnight in north Phoenix.

22 minutes ago

A 2-year-old girl died after falling into a backyard pool in Phoenix....

KTAR.com

2-year-old girl found dead in Phoenix backyard pool

Detectives are investigating the death of a 2-year-old girl who was found in a backyard pool on Saturday in Phoenix.

2 hours ago

Firefighting crews are battling the Riverside Fire north of Fountain Hills. (Tonto National Forest ...

KTAR.com

Bartlett Lake recreational areas north of Fountain Hills evacuated for Riverside Fire

The recreational areas near Bartlett Lake have been evacuated as firefighters battle the Riverside Fire north of Fountain Hills.

3 hours ago

A 2-year-old boy died after he was found in a backyard jacuzzi Saturday. (Pixabay photo)...

KTAR.com

2-year-old boy found in west Phoenix jacuzzi dies

Detectives are investigating the death of a two-year-old boy who was found in a backyard jacuzzi on Saturday in west Phoenix.

4 hours ago

State's new budget a sore spot for attorney general - Here's why...

Serena O'Sullivan

Arizona AG ‘extremely disappointed’ with state budget cuts to opioid settlement funds

Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes released a statement saying she is "extremely disappointed" with the state's new budget on Saturday.

5 hours ago

Bipartisan state budget of $16 billion passes in Arizona Legislature...

Associated Press

Arizona lawmakers pass bipartisan $16.1 billion budget, fix $1.4 billion deficit

Arizona lawmakers passed a $16.1 billion bipartisan state budget, which Gov. Hobbs negotiated with GOP leaders, on Saturday evening.

9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

Federal judge blocks Arizona law banning transgender athletes from girls’ sports teams