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July 23, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – A federal judge this week temporarily blocked a West Virginia law that requires sports teams to be designated according to biological sex.
District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin on Wednesday granted a preliminary injunction against House Bill 3293, which took effect July 1, barring West Virginia from enforcing it amid ongoing litigation.
Goodwin’s ruling is rooted in the falsehood that a petitioner in the case, a gender-confused 11-year-old boy living as a girl, is actually female.
“Forcing a girl to compete on the boys’ team when there is a girls’ team available would cause her unnecessary distress and stigma,” Goodwin said, referring to the boy, “Becky” Pepper-Jackson. He further claimed that requiring the boy to compete on a team with fellow males “would also be confusing to coaches and teammates.”
Pepper-Jackson and his mother, Heather, sued two months ago to stop the implementation of House Bill 3293. A lawsuit filed on their behalf by the far-left nonprofit American Civil Liberties Union and LGBT legal organization Lambda Legal alleges that the law violates the Constitution and Title IX provisions sex-based discrimination.
“The motion for a preliminary injunction that accompanies [Pepper-Jackson’s] complaint seeks relief only insofar as this law applies to” the boy, Goodwin wrote. “That is, granting this motion will only prevent the State and other Defendants from enforcing Section 18-2-25d against B.P.J.”
“Whether the law is facially unconstitutional is an issue raised in the Complaint and will be resolved at a later stage of litigation,” he said.
House Bill 3293, signed into law by Republican Gov. Jim Justice in May, expressly prohibits “biological males from participating on athletic teams or sports designated for biological females where competitive skill or contact is involved.”
“In the context of sports involving competitive skill or contact, biological males and biological females are not in fact similarly situated,” it added, saying that males “would displace females to a substantial extent if permitted to compete on teams designated for biological females.”
Male athletes allowed on female teams have indeed taken dozens of athletic opportunities from women and girls in recent years, according to Alliance Defending Freedom, due to inherent physical differences that are not erased through gender “transitioning.”
In the decision, Judge Goodwin noted that Pepper-Jackson is currently taking puberty blockers, highly dangerous drugs that devastate bone density and which have never been approved by the FDA for gender confusion. If continued on a course of puberty blockers through adolescence, Pepper-Jackson will never go through normal puberty and will be sterile for life.
Goodwin’s ruling is the first against one of the several state laws enacted this year to protect sex-based school sports teams from transgenderism. Also on Wednesday, a federal judge blocked an Arkansas law that prohibits providing puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and transgender surgeries to minors.
The Biden administration’s Justice Department had filed statements of interest last month against both the West Virginia and Arkansas legislation, saying that laws upholding biological standards in sports violate Title IX and the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution.