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Female athlete, WV attorney general's office defend state women's sports law at 4th Circuit

ADF attorneys available for media interviews following hearing Friday

Thursday, Oct 26, 2023

WHO:  Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys

WHAT:  Available for media interviews following oral arguments in B.P.J. v. West Virginia State Board of Education

WHEN:  Immediately following hearing, which begins at 8:30 a.m. EDT, Friday, Oct. 27

WHERE:  U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit; Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Courthouse; 1100 E. Main St.; Richmond; or view the livestream. To schedule an interview, contact ADF Deputy Director of Media Relations AnnMarie Pariseau at (480) 417-3975.

RICHMOND, Va. – Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys will be available for media interviews Friday following oral arguments in B.P.J. v. West Virginia State Board of Education, a case concerning the state’s law protecting women’s sports, at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. West Virginia’s solicitor general will be arguing in defense of the state’s law before the court.

A middle-school male athlete competing on a West Virginia girls’ track team this past spring and suing to challenge the state’s law has displaced more than 100 female athletes more than 280 times and denied two girls spots in the conference championship. Therefore, in July, both the state and also a female athlete represented by ADF attorneys asked the court to suspend the injunction that is holding up full implementation of the law.

“When you ignore biological reality and allow males to compete on girls’ sports teams, girls are harmed and denied athletic opportunities—even in middle school,” said ADF Senior Counsel Christiana Kiefer. “West Virginia passed its women’s sports law to protect female athletes, requiring males to compete on teams consistent with their sex. This path is legal, logical, and longstanding. In this case, the male athlete’s athletic success demonstrates that the injunction against West Virginia’s women’s sports law is undeniably causing multiple girls to suffer, and we are urging the 4th Circuit to take immediate action to restore a fair playing field for female athletes.”

ADF attorneys represent Lainey Armistead, a former West Virginia State University soccer player who intervened in the lawsuit to defend the state’s law, which was enacted to ensure equal athletic opportunities for women. In January of this year, a federal district court ruled to uphold the state’s Save Women’s Sports Act.

“I believe that protecting fairness in women’s sports is a women’s rights issue,” Armistead said. “This isn’t just about fair play for me: It’s about protecting fairness and safety for female athletes across West Virginia. It’s about ensuring that future generations of female athletes are not discriminated against but have access to the same equal athletic opportunities that shaped my life. Being an athlete in college has made me even more passionate about the sport that I play. I want fairness, equality, and safety in sports. And I want to ensure those standards are protected for other girls, too.”

  • Pronunciation guide: Kiefer (KEE’-fer)

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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