SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – Attorney General Sean D. Reyes joined the States of Arkansas and Alabama on an amicus brief in support of Arizona’s Save Women’s Sports Act, which has been challenged in federal court. The case Doe v. Horne is currently pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
In 2022, the Arizona Legislature passed a law prohibiting biological males from playing on women’s sports teams in public schools or universities. After the law went into effect, the parents of two biological males who wanted to play on their school’s female sports teams filed a lawsuit challenging the law. A U.S. District Court Judge temporarily blocked the law from being enforced, leading Arizona to appeal to the Ninth Circuit. The coalition of attorneys general urge the Ninth Circuit to reverse the lower court’s ruling because States may lawfully classify “females, women, or girls based on their biological sex.”
As the States write in their brief, “This is not a sex-discrimination challenge. Far from demanding all sports go coed, Plaintiffs want to take advantage of sex-segregated sports. This is an underinclusiveness challenge. Plaintiffs ask federal courts to compel Arizona to continue segregating on the basis of sex, but to define ‘girls’ broadly enough to include some biological males. That is, Plaintiffs seek the sex-segregated regime’s benefits by challenging the contours of the segregation. But though separating males and females for the benefit of girls’ sports warrants heightened scrutiny, following the understanding of sex that has endured for millennia does not.”
Joining Utah, Arkansas, and Alabama are the States of Alaska, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Wyoming.