Judge considering injunction to allow transgender girls to play girls high school sports
SALT LAKE CITY — Attorneys for three transgender girls are asking a judge to grant an injunction from Utah’s law governing transgender youth in school sports. The law in question, HB11, bars these individuals from competing in high school sports as the gender they identify with.
The three girls and their families are suing over the ban passed earlier this year by the Utah legislature.
Shannon Minter, who represents the students and their families, argued for several hours in the Third District Court that the law is causing individual and societal harm.
“These are windows of development you don’t get to have again,” Minter said.
The girls could make their individual cases to play sports to the Utah High School Activities Association if the injunction is granted. If the judge blocks the ban the state will activate a commission to decide, on an individual basis, if each transgender child can compete.
Our previous coverage:
- Utah families file lawsuit challenging transgender ban in girls’ sports
- Lawmakers overturn Gov. Cox’s veto on transgender athlete bill, make change immediately after
- Transgender athlete ban vetoed by governor, lawmakers call special session
The judge issued a confidentiality order so the students’ identities would not be revealed. One, identified only with the pseudonym Jenny, is an 11th-grade volleyball player. Minter described her as someone who loves sports.
But attorneys for the state argued the three girls would not be eligible to play on any teams anyway. Thomas Lee, a former Utah Supreme Court justice, argued that Jenny lacks the academic standing to participate on her high school volleyball team.
Third District Court Judge Keith Kelly is expected to release his decision on the injunction on Tuesday, Aug. 16.
He also says the trial will likely get started sometime in 2023 at the earliest.
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