Arizona GOP Leaders File Emergency Motion to Uphold Ban on Transgender Athletes

Republican legislative leaders in Arizona have filed an urgent motion to prevent the enforcement of an injunction that temporarily halted the state’s law prohibiting transgender girls from participating in girls’ school sports teams. The motion comes after the injunction, issued in July, cited a lack of evidence to support the claim that children prescribed puberty blockers would have an unfair athletic advantage or pose a safety risk to other players.

Challenging the Save Women’s Sports Act

The “Save Women’s Sports Act” was passed in 2022, aiming to restrict athletic teams designated for females from being open to transgender girls. This law applies to public schools, higher education institutions, and private schools competing against public schools. However, LGBTQ+ community advocates argue that such laws are harmful to transgender youth. In April, parents of two transgender girls filed a lawsuit challenging the law, claiming it violates Title IX protections against sex-based discrimination in education programs.

Arizona AG’s Decision

Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes, a Democrat, withdrew from defending the law, leading to the Republican Superintendent of Public Instruction taking on the task with support from GOP leaders.

Arguments Presented by GOP Leaders

Senate President Warren Petersen and House Speaker Ben Toma filed the recent motion, asserting that the state law does not violate Title IX as it allows for the separation of sports teams based on biological sex.

Seeking Supreme Court Intervention

The ultimate goal is to take the case to the Supreme Court, with Petersen expressing confidence in a favorable outcome. However, the continuation of the injunction puts young girls at risk while participating in sports competitions against boys.

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