A federal judge in Arizona issued a preliminary injunction banning implementation of the “Save Women’s Sports Act.”
The new law prevents biological males who are transgender from competing against women and girls in sex-segregated sports.
The law was passed in March 2022 by the Arizona Legislature to protect females athletes from the unfair biological advantage that males possess.
The plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging the measure have argued they would “suffer severe and irreparable mental, physical, and emotional harm” if the act took effect.
United States District Judge Jennifer Zipps said in her order that “very serious damages.
will result” if the law is implemented. She issued the injunction as a matter of course while the lawsuit proceeds through the court system.
But the lawmakers who passed the bill said the law was passed to protect the rights of women and girls.
“This bill allows everybody to participate in sports,” explained Arizona state House Rep. John Kavanagh during testimony on the bill, according to the Arizona Daily Independent. “It simply says that you have to go on the team that aligns with your biological gender because – quite frankly – puberty conveys significant physical advantages on males and I think it’s very unfair to make biological female athletes compete at that disadvantage.”
Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Horne, who is a defendant in the case, said the state will appeal the recent ruling, according to KOLD 13 News.
“We will appeal this ruling. This will ultimately be decided by the United States Supreme Court, and they will rule in our favor,” said Horne in a statement. “The Plaintiffs in this case claimed that this only involves pre-pubescent boys, but we presented peer-reviewed studies that show pre-pubescent boys have an advantage over girls in sports.”
Horne said that the only expert presented by the plaintiffs was a medical doctor who makes his money doing sex transition treatments on children.
The Associated Press reports that one of the plaintiffs is 15.
Horne previously said that allowing trans-identifying biological males to compete against girls makes a mockery of Title IX civil rights protections.
“Title IX was aimed at giving girls equal opportunities for playing sports. When a biological boy plays in a girl’s sport, it disadvantages the girls,” Horne told The Associated Press. “There have been lots of news stories about girls who worked hard to excel at their sports, found they could not when they had to compete against biological boys, and were devastated by that.”