The Department of Education has in a letter said Connecticut may lose federal funding if it allows transgender girls to compete as females in high school sports, reported the Associated Press.
Already, in March, Idaho barred transgender girls from competing on female teams in public college athletics. The American Civil Liberties Union and the Legal Voice group have challenged this ban in a lawsuit.
Meanwhile, the education department’s letter is a response to a complaint filed last year by cisgender female track athletes, which is already the subject of a federal lawsuit.
The 45-page education department letter dated May 15 says allowing transgender girls to compete denies female athletes “the possibility of greater visibility to colleges” in competitions where higher education institution scouts look for talent to recruit. The letter also says allowing transgender girls to compete as females violates Title IX, the federal law that guarantees equal education opportunities for women.
The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference says it is complying with a state law that bars schools from discriminating against transgender students.
The Department of Education letter says the conference’s policy “denied female student-athletes athletic benefits and opportunities, including advancing to the finals in events, higher level competitions, awards, medals, recognition, and the possibility of greater visibility to colleges and other benefits.”