CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey in June told a crowd gathered at the State Capitol that a lawsuit brought against a state law defining “sex” in school sports would not succeed.
On Thursday, those words came to fruition: a federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia ruled the state legislature’s definition of “girl” and “woman” in the context of HB 3293 (Save Women’s Sports Bill) is “constitutionally permissible.”
“This is not only about simple biology, but fairness for women’s sports, plain and simple. Opportunities for girls and women on the field are precious and we must safeguard that future. Protecting these opportunities is important, because when biological males compete in a women’s event women and girls lose their opportunity to shine.”West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey
Under HB 3293, all biological males, including those who identify as transgender girls, are ineligible for participation on girls’ sports teams.
The challenge to that law came from a transgender student at Bridgeport Middle School identified in court papers as “BPJ.” Attorneys for BPJ argued that HB 3293 violates BPJ’s rights under Title IX and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Attorney General Morrisey, on behalf of the state, intervened and asserted the law protects female athletes’ safety and keeps female sports competitive for female athletes, consistent with Title IX and the Constitution. Title IX was signed into law on June 23, 1972. It prohibits sex-based discrimination in any school or any other education program that receives funding from the federal government.
“This short and simple law demands that girls and women get their fair share of opportunities in education, and Title IX’s regulations make it clear that this could be accomplished in school athletic programs by having ‘separate teams for members of each sex’ where the teams are based on competitive skill.”West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey