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Seven female athletes ask 7th Circuit to protect girls’ sports

ADF attorneys file friend-of-the-court brief in defense of Indiana law that preserves fairness, equality for female athletes

Tuesday, Sep 13, 2022

CHICAGO – 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 Tuesday in support of Indiana’s law that protects athletic opportunities for girls. In the brief, ADF attorneys ask the 7th Circuit to reverse a district court’s July ruling that allows the plaintiff, a male, to compete on girls’ sports teams while the lawsuit, A.M. v. Indianapolis Public Schools, proceeds.

“Girls have the right to be able to win, not just participate,” said ADF Legal Counsel Rachel Csutoros. “The state of Indiana did the right thing when it enacted legislation to protect girls’ sports teams, preserving the legacy of Title IX and equal opportunity for women in athletics. We urge the court to consider the stories of these brave women and protect biological distinctions, which is necessary to ensure girls can have a future playing sports.”

ADF attorneys filed the brief on behalf of seven female athletes, three of whom they represent in lawsuits defending fair competition for girls by preserving sex-specific sports teams: Chelsea Mitchell, Selina Soule, and Madison Kenyon. The other athletes are Riley Gaines, Macy Petty, Debbie Powers, and Cynthia Monteleone.

As the brief explains, all these women “have competed against and lost to men in athletic competitions ranging from basketball to track. They have personally suffered the deflating experience of having opportunities stripped away in the name of ‘progress.’ Their experiences underscore the need for separating sports based on biology rather than self-professed identity.”

Michael Cork, one of more than 4,600 attorneys in the ADF Attorney Network, is serving as local counsel for the female athletes filing the brief.

Previously, ADF attorneys filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of five of the athletes at the district court level.

  • 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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