Feds examining whether Connecticut school policy discriminates against nontransgender athletes

Feds examining whether Connecticut school policy discriminates against nontransgender athletes

A Connecticut policy allowing transgender athletes in state schools to compete under the gender with which they identify is now under investigation by the Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

The office said on Thursday that it would review the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) policy to determine whether it discriminates against any students following a complaint from the families of three high school female track athletes who argued that the policy discriminates against female athletes, according to multiple news reports.

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"Please note that opening the complaint for investigation in no way implies that OCR has made a determination on the merits of the complaint," wrote the OCR's regional director in a letter to the CIAC, according to the Hartford Courant.

"During the investigation, OCR is a neutral fact-finder, collecting and analyzing relevant evidence from you, the CIAC, the [Glastonbury school district], and other sources, as appropriate," the letter continued.

The girls' families are represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative nonprofit that said the CIAC's policy is "grossly unfair and destroys" athletic opportunities for young girls upon filing the claim earlier this year.

The CIAC defended the policy in a statement earlier this year, writing that the policy was "appropriate" under state law and Title IX.

"The CIAC is committed to equity in providing opportunities to student athletes in Connecticut,” CIAC Executive Director Glenn Lungarini said in June. “We take such matters seriously, and we believe that the current CIAC policy is appropriate under both Connecticut law and Title IX.”