Civil Rights Groups Sue West Virginia on Behalf of 11-Year-Old Over Transgender Sports Law

Libby | May 27, 2021
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Several civil rights groups filed a lawsuit on Wednesday to challenge the West Virginia law that confines girls sports to biological girls on behalf of an 11-year-old transgender student.

The Americans for Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), joined by LGBTQ advocacy group Lambda Legal and Cooley LLP , is bringing the action against the West Virginia State Board of Education, Harrison County Board of Education, West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission, W. Clayton Burch and Dora Stutler in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia in Charleston, according to the West Virginia Record.

Pepper-Jackson’s mother, Heather Jackson, explained in the lawsuit that Pepper-Jackson “knew from a very young age that she is a girl” and has been completing puberty-delaying treatments for a little under a year.

Just entering middle school in the fall, Becky Pepper-Jackson, a biological male who self identifies as a female, is the vehicle by which the left is targeting West Virginia’s new law.

“I just want to run, I come from a family of runners,” Pepper-Jackson said. “I know how hurtful a law like this is to all kids like me who just want to play sports with their classmates, and I’m doing this for them. Trans kids deserve better.”

The bill, signed into law by Republican West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice last month, prohibits biological males who identify as transgender girls from competing on secondary and college sports teams.

Though dubbed an “anti-trans” bill by CNN and “legislation attacking trans youth” by ACLU senior staff attorney Joshua Block in a news release, as reported by the West Virginia Record, the law actually serves to protect women’s sports.

“There are inherent differences between biological males and biological females, and that these differences are cause for celebration,” the bill states. “Classification of teams according to biological sex is necessary to promote equal athletic opportunities for the female sex.”

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey seems to be ready for the fight, however, as he wrote a Facebook post last month sharing that he will be reviewing the legislation in “order to prepare defenses for legal challenges against them.”

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