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 Michael Goodin / The Daily Signal

August 14, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The Trump Department of Education (DOE) has agreed to investigate claims that the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference’s (CIAC’s) allowance of gender-confused males in girls’ athletics constitutes unlawful discrimination, prompting outrage from transgender activists.

Declaring that it “would be fundamentally unjust” to “preclude a student from participation on a gender specific sports team that is consistent with the public gender identity of that student for all other purposes,” the CIAC handbook says the conference “shall defer to the determination of the student and his or her local school regarding gender identification,” without any sort of conditions pertaining to physical transitions or testosterone levels.

Thanks to the CIAC policy, biologically male competitors have consistently outperformed actual females, according to a complaint filed by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) on behalf of three track athletes. This in turn deprives girls not only of opportunities to advance in competition, but of recognition that impacts their academic future via lost college recruitment consideration and scholarship opportunities.

“Because of the basic physiological differences and resulting strongly statistically significant differences in athletic capability and performance between boys and girls after puberty,” the complaint argues, “no one could credibly claim that a school satisfies its obligation to provide equal opportunities for girls for participation in athletics by providing, e.g., only co-ed track or wrestling teams and competitions, with sex-blind try-outs and qualification based strictly upon performance.”

Last week, the DOE’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) notified ADF that it will be investigating the matter as a potential violation of federal laws barring sex discrimination in federally-funded athletic programs.

“Female athletes deserve to compete on a level playing field. Forcing them to compete against boys makes them spectators in their own sports, which is grossly unfair and destroys their athletic opportunities,” ADF Legal Counsel Christiana Holcomb declared. “For that reason, we are pleased that OCR has agreed to investigate. Title IX is a federal law that was designed to eliminate discrimination against women in education and athletics, and women fought long and hard to earn the equal athletic opportunities that Title IX provides. Allowing boys to compete in girls’ sports reverses nearly 50 years of advances for women.”

In response, National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) spokesperson Gillian Branstetter called the development “yet another desperate attempt by the ADF to strip transgender students of the rights every student deserves and policies that provide them the same opportunities as every other student,” the Washington Blade reports.

In June, the Journal of Medical Ethics published a paper by researchers in New Zealand finding that “healthy young men [do] not lose significant muscle mass (or power) when their circulating testosterone levels were reduced to (below International Olympic Committee guidelines) for 20 weeks,” and “indirect effects of testosterone” on factors such as bone structure, lung volume, and heart size “will not be altered by hormone therapy”; therefore “the advantage to transwomen [men] afforded by the [International Olympic Committee] guidelines is an intolerable unfairness.”

LifeSiteNews is currently running a petition in support of ADF’s complaint, which has so far collected more than 16,000 signatures.