Media Contact

Meghan Holden, ACLU of Connecticut,
Tyler Richard, ACLU,

May 27, 2021

HARTFORD — The ACLU and ACLU of Connecticut responded to an appeal filed yesterday in a lawsuit seeking to challenge trans-inclusive policies in Connecticut. On April 25, a federal judge dismissed the lawsuit filed against the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference and multiple school boards. Represented by the American Civil Liberties Union and American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Connecticut, Andraya Yearwood and Terry Miller, two transgender student athletes, were allowed to join the lawsuit in defense of Connecticut’s inclusive policies. The ACLU and ACLU of Connecticut will continue to represent Yearwood and Miller in the lawsuit.

Joshua Block, senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s LGBTQ & HIV Project, had the following response:

“Allowing transgender students to fully participate in school — including sports — is consistent with existing federal law. The plaintiffs in this case have no legal basis for their claims and no standing from which to make them. When Andraya and Terry ran in high school, they belonged on the girls’ teams because they are girls. They benefited from being on a team, working to better themselves, and having an escape from the rest of their days — the same things that anyone else benefits from when playing sports. We will continue to defend Terry and Andraya’s rights in court.”

Elana Bildner, staff attorney with the ACLU of Connecticut, had the following response:

“Federal law protects trans students’ ability to participate in school sports, and this attack on trans youth has neither merit nor facts on its side. The plaintiffs in this case are essentially attempting to litigate a couple of high school track races that happened years ago in order to forever shut trans students out of school sports. Transgender youth, just like all other youth, belong in our schools and on our sports teams. We will continue to defend their humanity, dignity, and ability to be full members of their school communities.”

In the April decision, Judge Robert Chatigny noted that “courts across the country have consistently held that Title IX requires schools to treat transgender students consistent with their gender identity.”

More on Soule et al v. CT Association of Schools et al:

An overview of attacks on trans students in sports:

A statement from women’s rights and gender justice organizations across Connecticut supporting trans youth: