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A.M. v. Indianapolis Public Schools

Description:  A legal challenge to Indiana’s law that, if successful, would undermine women’s sports by allowing males who identify as female to compete with females in girls’ sports.

A woman kicks a soccer ball
Wednesday, Jan 18, 2023

INDIANAPOLIS – Female athletes in Indiana scored a victory Wednesday when the ACLU withdrew its lawsuit challenging a state law that protects athletic opportunities for girls.

In September of last year, Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing seven female athletes filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit in support of Indiana’s law. ADF attorneys asked the 7th Circuit to reverse a district court’s ruling in the lawsuit, A.M. v. Indianapolis Public Schools, that allowed a male to compete on girls’ sports teams. Now that the case has been dropped, the lower court decision will be vacated, and Indiana’s law will go into effect.

“Biological distinction in sports is not just commonsense, it is necessary to ensure girls can continue to play the sports they love on a fair and level playing field,” said ADF Legal Counsel Rachel Csutoros. “Indiana joins a growing coalition of states that has enacted laws to preserve fair competition for female athletes. We’re pleased to favorably close this case to the benefit of the brave female athletes we represent who are speaking out to protect the future of women’s sports.”

Three of the seven female athletes on the ADF brief are plaintiffs in their own ADF lawsuits defending women’s sports: Chelsea Mitchell, Selina Soule, and Madison Kenyon. The other athletes are Riley Gaines, Macy Petty, Debbie Powers, and Cynthia Monteleone.

This is the second victory for women’s sports to begin 2023, reflecting the growing momentum to recognize and protect the reality of biological differences in our laws and policies. On Jan. 5, a West Virginia federal court upheld the state’s Save Women’s Sports Act, rejecting a legal challenge that would have undermined women’s sports in the state by allowing males who identify as female to compete with females in girls’ and women’s sports.

Michael Cork, one of more than 4,700 attorneys in the ADF Attorney Network, is serving as local counsel for the Indiana female athletes.

  • Pronunciation guide: Csutoros (Suh-TOR’-iss)

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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ABOUT Rachel Rouleau

Rachel Rouleau serves as legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, where she is a member of the Center for Conscience Initiatives. Rouleau joined the Conscience Team in 2020, where she focuses on protecting the conscience rights of individuals being unjustly forced to compromise their beliefs under threat of heavy fines and punishment. Prior to that, she was a First Year Lawyer Fellow in ADF’s new fellowship program. Rouleau earned her J.D. from William and Mary Law School in 2019. She obtained her B.A. in political science from the University of Florida in 2015. She is a member of the Massachusetts bar.