Court Battles

Tennessee teen sues over transgender sports ban

Judges use a small wooden mallet to signal for attention or order.

A Tennessee teen is suing the state over a law that requires students to play on sports teams that align with their assigned gender identity at birth. 

Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit on Thursday on behalf of Luc Esquivel, a 14-year-old freshman who identifies as transgender.

Luc, according to the lawsuit, was hoping to try out for Farragut High School’s boys golf team, but faced opposition due to the Tennessee law, which requires student-athletes to provide proof of the sex they were assigned at birth. 

In a press release obtained by NBC News, Luc said he was “crushed” by the law.

“I was really looking forward to trying out for the boys’ golf team and, if I made it, training and competing with and learning from other boys and improving my game,” Luc said, according to NBC News. 

“Then, to have the legislature pass a law that singled out me and kids like me to keep us from being part of a team, that crushed me, it hurt very much. I just want to play, like any other kid,” he added. 

The law took effect in March after being signed by Gov. Bill Lee (R). At the time, Lee said he supported the bill because allowing trans girls to compete in girls sports “will ruin the opportunity for girls to earn scholarships.”

In the Thursday lawsuit, Leslie Cooper, who serves as a deputy director on the ACLU’s LGBTQ and HIV Project, noted that the suit is the ACLU’s fifth challenge to an anti-trans law that has passed this year. 

“We will continue to fight these relentless attacks on trans youth,” Cooper said, according to NBC News. “There is no reason, apart from the legislature’s desire to express its disapproval of transgender people, to keep Luc from playing on the boys’ golf team.”


Tags Lawsuit Tennessee transgender sports ban

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video