An Indiana federal judge on Tuesday ruled that a 10-year-old transgender girl could rejoin her softball team amidst the state's trans athlete ban.
"The singling out of transgender females is unequivocally discrimination on the basis of sex, regardless of the policy argument as to why that choice was made," U.S. District Court Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson wrote in her ruling.
Magnus-Stinson's ruling comes in response to Indiana, earlier this year, passing a ban on trans athletes from partaking in sports teams aligning with their proclaimed gender identity. But the court's decision, which for now only applies to the plaintiff, A.M. as she's referred to in the case, could set a different precedent, according to Axios.
"The Court finds," the Obama-appointed judge continued, "that A.M. has established a strong likelihood that she will succeed on the merits of her Title IX claim."
Title IX is a civil rights law that prevents discrimination in education programs based on sex.
Kenneth Falk of the Indiana ACLU, who is representing A.M., says, "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," he continued, "that Judge Magnus-Stinson has recognized this and required that A.M. be allowed to play on her school's softball team."
On Tuesday, Indiana's Republican Attorney General Todd Rokita tweeted that the law banning trans athletes (HEA 1041) "remains in effect across the state and we will continue our work to defend this law and to protect Indiana's K12 students. The court's ruling allows only this particular plaintiff to play this particular sport at this particular elementary school."
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