On November 10, 2022, NWLC—along with our law firm partner Hogan Lovells US LLP and 58 additional organizations committed to gender justice—filed an amicus brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in A.M. v. Indianapolis Public Schools. This lawsuit was brought by the family of A.M., a ten-year-old transgender girl who faces exclusion from her elementary school softball team by Indiana’s recently enacted anti-trans sports ban, House Enrolled Act (“H.E.A.”) 1041. The district court put the law on hold in July 2022, correctly concluding that A.M. is likely to succeed on her claim that H.E.A. 1041 violates Title IX by banning girls and women who are transgender from participating in sports consistent with their gender identity. Indiana appealed the district court’s decision, asking the Seventh Circuit to allow the law to go into effect while the case proceeds.
Our amicus brief explains that H.E.A. 1041 violates Title IX and the U.S. Constitution because it targets transgender girls and young women for discrimination based on sex. Indiana’s arguments in support of the ban are based on dangerous and inaccurate stereotypes about athleticism, biology, and gender. This law would particularly harm girls who are transgender and those who do not conform to sex stereotypes, as well as Black and brown girls who are also likely to be targeted by racial stereotypes. Bans like H.E.A. 1041 harm transgender girls by shutting them out from the well-documented educational benefits of sports participation, which are extra important given their heightened risks of discrimination, harassment, and negative health outcomes linked to social isolation and stigma.
NWLC and our 58 partner organizations urge the Seventh Circuit to rule in favor of A.M. and the rights of transgender students and all students to be free from discrimination.