On October 13, 2023, the National Women’s Law Center, our law firm partner, Hogan Lovells US LLP, and 33 organizations committed to gender justice filed an amicus brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Doe v. Horne. This case was brought by Jane Doe and Megan Roe, an 11 year-old middle schooler and a 15 year-old high schooler who challenged Arizona’s anti-trans sports ban, S.B. 1165. Jane Doe, Megan Roe, and their families, represented by the National Center for Lesbian Rights, won a strong preliminary injunction at the district court level finding that Arizona’s anti-trans sports ban likely violates Title IX and the Equal Protection Clause, especially given controlling Ninth Circuit precedent in Hecox (striking down Idaho’s illegal ban targeting trans girls and women) and the Supreme Court’s Bostock decision.
Our amicus brief in support of Jane and Megan explains to the Court that trans-inclusive school policies, including for school sports, make schools safer and more equitable for trans girls, cisgender girls, and all students. Access to school sports is an important part of education for all students, associated with lifelong academic, social, and health benefits. The fearmongering that lawmakers relied on to pass this discriminatory ban is based in lies, falsely claiming that trans youth “threaten” other students, and unlawful sex stereotypes that harm all girls and women. Rules scrutinizing of whether girls are “feminine enough” perpetuate sexist and racist stereotypes that harm all girls and women, especially Black and brown girls and women and intersex women (who have natural variations in sex-linked traits.) The systemic inequities girls face in K-12 and college sports are the result of leaders and policymakers denying resources and funding for girls and women’s sports in school, and full enforcement of Title IX depends on remedying these real issues while also supporting and including LGBTQI+ youth. For more on the case, please read our blog.