Friday, July 23, 2021

Court Enjoins Enforcement of West Virginia's Ban On Transgender Girls Being On Girl's Sports Teams

In B.P.J. v. West Virginia State Board of Education, (D WV, July 21, 2021), a West Virginia federal district court granted a preliminary injunction to an 11-year old transgender girl who was kept off the girl's cross country and track teams under a West Virginia statute that bars students whose biological sex is male from girls' teams. The court found a likelihood of success on plaintiff's equal protection and Title IX claims, saying in part:

B.P.J. has not undergone endogenous puberty and will not so long as she remains on her prescribed puberty blocking drugs. At this preliminary stage, B.P.J. has shown that she will not have any inherent physical advantage over the girls she would compete against on the girls’ cross country and track teams....

As applied to B.P.J., Section 18-2-25d is not substantially related to protecting girls’ opportunities in athletics or their physical safety when participating in athletics. I find that B.P.J. is likely to succeed on the merits of her equal protection claim.

Courthouse News Service reports on the decision.