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Horne submits filings to defend state law prohibiting biological boys from playing on girls’ teams

Female athletes praise stance

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne has submitted a formal legal response in his defense of a lawsuit challenging the state law that prohibits biological boys from playing on girls’ teams. Horne is the only remaining defendant in the case since the other named parties have declined to defend the law.

In a news conference this morning to explain the filing, Horne was joined by Marshi Smith, the 2005 NCAA and Pac-10 Conference Women’s backstroke champion who competed at the University of Arizona and is in the school’s athletic Hall of Fame.

Smith provided a letter that she and 44 other female athletes sent to the NCAA and the University of Arizona in March 2022 critical of the decision to allow males who identify as transgender to compete against women.

The letter states in part, “From the birth of the NCAA in 1906 until 1972, women had the fight to earn the law that provided equal opportunities for women in sports. It took a male to female transgender person one year to take the women’s swimming national championship title. This is not equality. Women’s standings, titles, records and scholarships are suddenly at risk again.”

Also lending support to this effort are triathlete Lauren Bondly, former UArizona Athletic Director Jim Livengood and Shawna Glazier, a competitive cyclist who was defeated by a male who identified as a woman, won a cycling event, and then reverted to identifying as a male.

Horne stated, “I have sympathy for anybody who feels trapped in the wrong body, but I don’t believe that biological boys should be playing against girls. If there really are no differences between males and females then all sports would already be co-ed.”

In the Response to Plaintiff’s Motion for a Preliminary Injunction, Horne argues “The disruption and the unfairness caused to others by Plaintiffs insisting on unfairly competing against biological girls is undeniable. If the preliminary injunction were to be granted, a number of schools would permit biological males/transgender females to compete against girls. This would be devastating to girls who hope to excel but cannot because they are competing against biological boys and being deprived of scholarships. “

The response further states, “Biological girls forced to compete against biological males/transgender girls in contact sports, are at a particularly high risk of physical injury due to the average size, speed and strength advantages males have over females.”