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Utah Allows Transgender Girls To Play Girls' Sports, Judge Rules

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A Salt Lake City judge on Friday temporarily suspended a Utah law banning transgender girls from participating in girls’ sports. It came when the lawsuit was reviewed and the doors were opened for the students to compete in women’s sports this year.

The law, which includes a section outlining the ban, took effect in July after Utah’s Republican-led Congress overturned a veto by Republican Governor Spencer Cox. Anticipating a possible injunction against the law, Republican lawmakers stipulated the creation of a commission to determine whether transgender girls have an unfair advantage.

When Judge Keith Kelly of the Third Judicial District Court in Salt Lake City granted the preliminary injunction on Friday, lawyers representing the families of three transgender girls said, He said the injunction would allow transgender girls to participate in girls’ sports “only if it is fair.” He added that he does.

The injunction allows the state legislature’s Interim Commission on Education to investigate how the Utah High School Activities Association, the organization that oversees activities in the state’s high schools, handles complaints about the participation of transgender students in sports. It was served two days later.

The association’s legislative representative, David Spatafor, said it has received a small number of complaints, including claims from parents that “female athletes don’t look feminine enough.”

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Competitors “outrunning” the rest of the field at last year’s women’s state-level competition, according to one complaint. The parents of the 2nd and her 3rd place players then questioned the gender of the winning student and lodged a complaint with the association.

Spatafore said the association asked the winning student’s school to investigate and looked at the student’s enrollment records going back to kindergarten and found that “she was always female.” Spatafore said she did not disclose the sports, classes, or schools the student attended to protect her identity. The association did not inform the families of the accused students.

In a recent telephone interview with The Washington Post, Spatafor said that issues related to transgender student eligibility are “one of the most important, controversial, and time-consuming issues we’ve been involved with. One of the problems,” he said. Especially the last three years. He said the association began receiving “only a handful” of complaints last year, but the timing was tied to the attention surrounding Leah Thomas, a transgender woman who competed for the University of Pennsylvania swim team. He speculates that it is.

“We have been managing high school sports for 75 years. “Be prepared to receive a lot of complaints as it has become a very high profile issue.”

Of the 75,000 participants in educational sports in Utah (multisport athletes count each sport once), only four are transgender, according to Spatafor.

The Utah law is part of a surge in policy proposals and codified laws restricting transgender girls from participating in K-12 athletics. Across the United States, 17 other states have passed similar laws, some of which are still being contested in court.

Some proponents of a complete ban argued that Utah’s laws were not sufficient, while opponents argued that the complaints Spatafore and the UHSAA had to take into account were the anticipation of such laws. It is said that it is the effect of

Susan Kahn, a professor of history at the University of Buffalo, said her research has focused on gender testing transgender athletes and female athletes. “I think what it does is emphasize the point that not everyone understands that these laws are also dangerous for cisgender girls and women. [The bills] It is often suggested as a way to protect women in women’s sports and in sports, but I think it gives a new foothold to old accusations, old suspicions that those who are really good at sports can be men. is undermining the actual girls that could be investigated now. ”

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Allegations about the gender of certain athletes go back decades.

In the 1940s, female athletes were required to bring a medical “femininity certificate” to prove their gender prior to international competition. In 1966, the International Association of Athletics Federation required female athletes to undergo a sex test in what became known as the “Nude Parade.” inspected. Complaints about the practice led to chromosomal testing and later her DNA testing. The IAAF stopped compulsory gender testing for her in 1991, and the International Olympic Committee stopped doing it for her in 1999.

That history and current reality are why Khan sees laws like the one blocked in Utah as part of a broader push to limit women’s rights.

“This is a step along a path conservatives have long developed,” Khan said. “They seem to understand that the anti-trans stuff is stronger than the anti-gay laws. I think it’s part of a big project to revive the society of

“I think [these laws] disturb women’s sports. And I think it’s not just about sports, it’s about undermining the legitimacy of trans existence. ”