The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) on Wednesday announced it filed a lawsuit to challenge legislation passed in Florida that bars transgender student athletes from playing on sport teams that align with their gender identity.
The lawsuit, filed in the District Court for the Southern District of Florida, argues that the “Fairness in Women Sports Act,” signed by Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisOvernight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Key CDC panel backs Moderna, J&J boosters GOP senators call on Biden to back down from vaccine mandates DeSantis to call special session of legislature to fight vaccine mandates MORE (R) at the start of June, violates Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any education program or activity offered by an institution that receives federal funding.
The suit also argues that the Florida law violates the Equal Protection Clause and Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment. The HRC filed its lawsuit with the international law firm Arnold & Porter.
“Given the unprecedented onslaught of state legislative attacks, we have a responsibility to utilize every tool in our belt to safeguard the LGBTQ community, including suing the states that infringe upon our civil rights,” HRC President Alphonso David said in a statement.
“On the first day of Pride Month, a moment of celebration, Governor DeSantis signed a bill into law attacking transgender children—now, on the last day of Pride, we are sending a message to him, and all anti-equality officials, that you cannot target our community without retribution," David added.
More lawsuits to challenge similar legislation in Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee will also be filed this year according to the HRC's announcement.
“Our constitutional challenge in support of transgender youth exercising their rights reflects our firm’s longstanding commitment to equality and inclusivity for members of the LGBTQ community," senior counsel at Arnold & Porter Rosalyn Richter, who is leading the pro-bono legal team in this lawsuit, said.
On the day that DeSantis signed the new bill, the HRC announced its intentions of filing a lawsuit against the Florida governor.
"Lawmakers across the country who support these bills have failed to provide examples of any issue in their states to attempt to justify these attacks on transgender youth, laying bare the reality that they are fueled by discriminatory intent and not supported by fact,” the HRC said in a statement at the time.