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Selina SouleAlliance Defending Freedom

(LifeSiteNews) — A federal appeals court has ruled against four female high school athletes from Connecticut who attempted to overturn state rules that allow biological males to compete on women’s sports teams.

On Friday the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the previous decision of a district court to dismiss Soule v. Connecticut Association of Schools, Fox News reports. The federal court said the four female track and field athletes failed to adequately demonstrate both “injury” and their entitlement to compensatory damages.

The four athletes — Selina Soule, Chelsea Mitchell, Alanna Smith, and Ashley Nicoletti — had argued the inclusion of gender-confused men in women’s athletics violated Title IX of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits sex-based discrimination in federally-funded activities and programs.

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All four track athletes said they were denied opportunities to win races, titles, and scholarships because of the dominance of two biological males, who won a combined 15 state championships in three years of competition.

But the appeals court rejected the argument that the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference policy discriminates on the basis of sex, citing the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Bostock v. Clayton County that sex-based discrimination includes “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”

Although that decision was based on an interpretation of Title VII, which prohibits discrimination in employment, the appeals court argued Title VII’s language is “identical” to that of Title IX.

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the legal group who represented the four athletes, is now considering a possible appeal of the ruling.

“The 2nd Circuit got it wrong, and we’re evaluating all legal options, including appeal,” ADF senior counsel Christiana Kiefer told Fox News. “Our clients — like all female athletes — deserve access to fair competition.”