On April 3, 2023, the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) along with our law firm partner Hogan Lovells US LLP and 52 organizations committed to gender justice filed an amicus brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in B.P.J. v. West Virginia State Board of Education. This case was brought by a middle school girl who is transgender, B.P.J., who challenged West Virginia’s anti-trans sports ban, H.B. 3293. In April 2021, West Virginia enacted H.B. 3293, a discriminatory law targeting transgender, nonbinary, and intersex girls by banning them from participating in school sports consistent with their gender identity in sixth grade through university. B.P.J. was then just 11 years old and wanted to try out for her middle school’s cross-country team, but she and her family had to challenge this discriminatory law in court just to win a chance to try out for the team.  

Our amicus brief in support of B.P.J. explains to the court that anti-trans sports bans do not enhance participation in school sports for cisgender women and girls (contrary to state lawmakers’ purported justifications for H.B. 3293), fail to address actual gender inequities in athletics, and are deeply connected to unlawful sex stereotypes that harm all girls and women. The harms from anti-trans sports bans especially fall on women and girls who are transgender, intersex (who are born with natural variations in sex-linked characteristics), and Black and brown women, who are disproportionately targeted for body policing and scrutiny based on racialized stereotypes of femininity. For more background on the case, please read our blog.