Indiana officials appeal ruling against trans sports law

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The Indiana attorney general’s office has asked a federal appeals court to overturn a judge’s order against a state law that prohibits transgender females from competing in girls school sports.

The appeal filed this week argues that U.S. District Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson in Indianapolis was wrong in granting a preliminary injunction against the law and allowing a 10-year-old transgender girl to rejoin her school’s all-girls softball team.

The judge ruled in July that the girl had “a strong likelihood” of prevailing in arguments that the Indiana law violated federal Title IX protections against discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities.

Indiana’s Republican-dominated Legislature approved the law in May over the veto of GOP Gov. Eric Holcomb as opponents argued it was a bigoted response to a problem that doesn’t exist.

The judge’s ruling only applied to the Indianapolis student as the law took effect July 1.

The attorney general’s office argued to the Chicago-based 7th Circuit Court of Appeals that upholding the judge’s ruling “would throw open girls’ sports to members of the male sex with all the advantages being born male confers, depriving women of equal opportunities to compete fairly and safely in sports.”

Federal lawsuits are also underway against similar laws in Utah and other states.

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