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Female athletes score again: ACLU drops legal challenge to Indiana sports law

ADF attorneys filed friend-of-the-court brief in defense of Indiana law that preserves fairness, equality for girls’ sports

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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