An Obama-appointed judge has ruled that an Indiana school must allow a transgender student back on the girl’s softball team at school.
Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson temporarily blocked Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) from enforcing the state law requiring students to play on the team that matches their biological sex.
The student, a ten year old identified in the lawsuit only as A.M., had been removed from the team when the law went into effect earlier this month.
The family reportedly began referring to the biological male child as a girl when they were just three years old.
“U.S. District Court Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson issued the preliminary injunction, finding that Indiana’s House Bill 1041, which went into effect July 1, likely violates Title IX and the Supreme Court’s ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, which held that discriminating against an individual for being transgender constitutes sex discrimination,” The Hill reports.
The American Civil Liberties Union had filed a lawsuit on the student’s behalf in May.
“When misinformation about biology and gender is used to bar transgender girls from school sports it amounts to the same form of sex discrimination that has long been prohibited under Title IX, a law that protects all students – including trans people – on the basis of sex,” the ACLU said in a statement following the ruling.
“We are pleased that Judge Magnus-Stinson has recognized this and required that A.M. be allowed to play on her school’s softball team,” the statement continued. “If other students are being denied the right to join a sports team at their school due to their transgender status, we encourage them to contact the ACLU of Indiana immediately.”
Judge Magnus-Stinson wrote that the challenge to House Bill 1041 “raises controversial issues regarding the boundaries of Title IX and whether and how those boundaries should stretch and shift in an ever-changing world.”
The bill states, “a male, based on a student’s biological sex at birth in accordance with the student’s genetics and reproductive biology, may not participate on an athletic team or sport designated under this section as being a female, women’s, or girls’ athletic team or sport.”
Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita issued a statement after the ruling, saying that they will continue to defend the bill.
“The law (HEA 1041) remains in effect across the state and we will continue our work to defend this law and to protect Indiana’s students. The court’s ruling allows only this particular plaintiff to play this particular sport at this particular elementary school,” Rokita said.
The bill was passed by state lawmakers in March, but was vetoed by Republican Governor Eric Holcomb.
Two months later, in May, the lawmakers voted to override Gov. Holcomb’s veto.
There are currently 16 states that require students to play on sports teams that match their biological gender.