INDIANAPOLIS — An Indiana judge on Tuesday ruled that a 10-year-old transgender girl can continue playing on her school’s softball team while legislation over the state’s new transgender sports ban continues.
The preliminary injunction, issued by Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, comes after the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit in April challenging the ban on behalf of the girl.
Judge Magnus-Stinson ruled that the girl’s legal team has shown that “she has a likelihood of succeeding on the merits of her claim that 20-33-13-4 (transgender school sports ban) violates Title IX.”
The lawsuit will continue to work its way through the courts.
The ACLU released the following a statement in response to the judge’s ruling:
“When misinformation about biology and gender is used to bar transgender girls from school sports it amounts to the same form of sex discrimination that has long been prohibited under Title IX, a law that protects all students – including trans people – on the basis of sex.
“We are pleased that Judge Magnus-Stinson has recognized this and required that A.M. be allowed to play on her school’s softball team.
“If other students are being denied the right to join a sports team at their school due to their transgender status, we encourage them to contact the ACLU of Indiana immediately.”
Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita also issued a statement after the ruling:
“The law (HEA 1041) remains in effect across the state and we will continue our work to defend this law and to protect Indiana’s students. The court’s ruling allows only this particular plaintiff to play this particular sport at this particular elementary school.”
The ban passed this year by Indiana lawmakers prohibits a child whose birth-assigned sex was male from playing on a school’s sports team designated for girls. Governor Eric Holcomb vetoed the bill in March, stating that the legislation aimed to address a problem that doesn’t exist and did not provide a consistent policy for what he called “fairness in K-12 sports.” However, lawmakers voted to override the governor’s veto in May.