A Christian school forfeited a girls’ basketball game against a trans athlete over fairness. Now it faces a ban

A Vermont activities association has kicked out a Christian school for refusing to play its girls’ basketball team against a transgender opponent.

The Vermont Principals Association (VPA) informed…

A Vermont activities association has kicked out a Christian school for refusing to play its girls’ basketball team against a transgender opponent.

The Vermont Principals Association (VPA) informed Mid Vermont Christian School (MVCS) of the ban in a letter which was also published Monday on the VPA website.

“On March 13, 2023 VPA Executive Council met and determined that Mid-Vermont Christian’s forfeit (2/20/23) and corresponding rationale as shared in the Valley News of 2/25/23, violates VPA Policies which are aligned with Vermont state law,” the letter reads. “Thus, Mid-Vermont Christian school is ineligible to participate in VPA activities going forward.”

The letter refers to a statement from MVCS head of school Vicky Fogg, who emailed it to the Valley News, sharing the schools concerns about fairness and the safety of its players.

“We believe playing against an opponent with a biological male jeopardizes the fairness of the game and the safety of our players,” Fogg wrote. “Allowing biological males to participate in women’s sports sets a bad precedent for the future of women’s sports in general.”

Fogg shares the same concerns expressed around the country by prominent female athletes, parents and lawmakers.

Former University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines has spoken widely against transgender women competing against biological females. Gaines, an All-American NCAA swimmer, famously faced off against transgender athlete Lia Thomas.

Not even hormone therapy can even the playing field between biological males who transition and females, Gaines told The Lion in November. 

“There are so many things that testosterone suppression doesn’t change on a man, including your lung size, your heart size – obviously your height and your wingspan and your bone density. Men have a 40% larger throat than females. And that plays a huge part in success.” 

The push to include transgender athletes is part of a larger effort by progressives that often flies under the banner of “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.”  

The VPA explained its decision to ban the Christian school was made in consultation with two of its committees, including its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Activities Committee. 

Gaines experienced the same progressive effort on the college level. 

“They (the NCAA) were encouraging it. They were celebrating it,” she said. “And I realized the NCAA, this isn’t something that was just sprung upon them. They’re pushing along this woke fad, this agenda that our society has really created. And that’s when I realized that the NCAA is not our friend in this fight, which is sad.” 

The gender-inclusive ideologues, led by the Biden administration (which is just continuing Obama-era guidance from 2016) are attempting to find their support in novel interpretations of “sex” in federal Title IX laws which date from the early 1970s. 

In Vermont, the statute the VPA cites against the Christian school is essentially a Title IX law which explicitly includes “gender identity”:  

“An owner or operator of a place of public accommodation or an agent or employee of such owner or operator shall not, because of the race, creed, color, national origin, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity of any person, refuse, withhold from, or deny to that person any of the accommodations, advantages, facilities, and privileges of the place of public accommodation.” 

The larger legal conflict around Title IX has led the Association of Christian Schools International to join a lawsuit brought by the attorneys general of 20 states against the Department of Education’s current guidance on gender identity. The Christian organization was allowed to join the lawsuit by a court order in September. 

“This court order enables ACSI to challenge the Biden administration’s reinterpretation of federal law that would allow males to compete on female athletic teams,” ACSI President Dr. Larry Taylor told The Lion in statement. “We are passionate about protecting and preserving fairness for our female athletes.” 

Christians schools commonly compete against public schools in games and tournaments sanctioned by state athletic associations. 

Many states have considered legislation to restrict or ban biological males from competing in girls’ sports after examples of biological males dominating the female competition gained notoriety. Last year, at least 18 states passed laws or others restricted transgender participation, the New York Times reported. 

Such efforts continue in many states. Most recently, Kansas sent its “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act” to Gov. Laura Kelly’s desk for the second year in row after the governor’s veto last year. Though Kelly is widely expected to veto it again, the Legislature is expected to have the votes to override. 

But in Vermont, given the state statute protecting gender identity, advocates for fairness in girls’ sports face an uphill battle.