Attorneys representing three female high school track athletes in their effort to bar biological males from competing against them filed a motion on Saturday calling for the presiding judge to recuse himself after he forbid the attorneys from referring to the transgender athletes at issue as “males.”
The ADF filed suit in February against the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) on behalf of three girls — Selina Soule, Alana Smith, and Chelsea Mitchell. The suit challenges the CIAC policy allowing students to compete in the division that accords with their gender identity on the grounds that it disadvantages women in violation of the Title IX prohibition against discrimination on the “basis of sex.”
During an April 16 conference call, District Judge Robert Chatigny chastised the ADF attorneys for referring to the male athletes seeking to compete in the women’s division as “males,” according to a transcript of the call obtained by National Review.
What I’m saying is you must refer to them as “transgender females” rather than as “males.” Again, that’s the more accurate terminology, and I think that it fully protects your client’s legitimate interests. Referring to these individuals as “transgender females” is consistent with science, common practice and perhaps human decency. To refer to them as “males,” period, is not accurate, certainly not as accurate, and I think it’s needlessly provocative. I don’t think that you surrender any legitimate interest or position if you refer to them as transgender females. That is what the case is about. This isn’t a case involving males who have decided that they want to run in girls’ events. This is a case about girls who say that transgender girls should not be allowed to run in girls’ events. So going forward, we will not refer to the proposed intervenors as “males”; understood?
Roger Brooks, the lead attorney for ADF, responded by pointing out that the biology of transgender athletes seeking to compete in the women’s division is relevant to the case and, as such, his duty provide a vigorous defense of his clients’ interests required him to use the term “male.”
The entire focus of the case is the fact that the CIAC policy allows individuals who are physiologically, genetically male to compete in girls’ athletics. But if I use the term “females” to describe those individuals — and we’ve said in our opening brief, we’re happy to use their preferred names, because names are not the point to the case. Gender identity is not the point of this case. The point of this case is physiology of bodies driven by chromosomes and the documented athletic advantage that comes from a male body, male hormones, and male puberty in particular. So, Your Honor, I do have a concern that I am not adequately representing my client and I’m not accurately representing their position in this case as it has to be argued before Your Honor and all the way up if I refer to these individuals as “female,” because that’s simply, when we’re talking about physiology, that’s not accurate, at least in the belief of my clients.