Attorneys Call on Judge to Recuse Himself After He Forbids Them From Misgendering Trans Athletes

Attorneys for the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian nonprofit organization and noted “hate group,” are calling on a Connecticut judge to recuse himself after he prohibited them from referring to trans women athletes as “males.”

In an ongoing legal battle between the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference and the ADF, who represent those that believe trans women and girls should be barred from competing in sports according to their gender identity, Judge Robert N. Chatigny chastised ADF attorneys for their refusal to respect “human decency.” In a transcript of an April 16 conversation between Judge Chatigny and the attorneys obtained by National Review, the judge tells the lawyers, “This isn’t a case involving males who have decided that they want to run in girls’ events. This is a case about girls who say that transgender girls should not be allowed to run in girls’ events,” he said. “So going forward, we will not refer to the proposed intervenors as ‘males’; understood?”

Filed by ADF lead attorney Roger Brooks, the motion calling for Chatigny’s recusal frames asking all attorneys to refrain from misgendering the trans athletes involved in the case as “destroy[ing] the appearance of impartiality in this proceeding.”

According to a February 2020 filing by the ADF, the suit challenges the CIAC’s policy that allows students to compete in accordance with their gender identity. On behalf of three high school athletes — Selina Soule, Alana Smith, and Chelsea Mitchell — the ADF alleges that the CIAC’s policy violates the Title IX prohibition against discrimination on the “basis of sex.”

More specifically, the case concerns two trans sprinters, Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood, who have won a combined 15 indoor and outdoor championship events since 2017. Despite there being no medical consensus supporting their assertion, ADF attorneys allege Miller and Yearwood’s status as trans women affords them an unfair advantage.

Via the ACLU, both athletes refute allegations that question their participation in track and field. “I have known two things for most of my life: I am a girl and I love to run,” says Yearwood. “There is no shortage of discrimination that I face as a young Black woman who is transgender. I have to wake up every day in a world where people who look like me face so many scary and unfair things. I am lucky to live in a state that protects my rights and to have a family that supports me. This is what keeps me going.”

“I have faced discrimination in every aspect of my life and I no longer want to remain silent,” Miller adds. “I am a girl and I am a runner. I participate in athletics just like my peers to excel, find community, and meaning in my life. It is both unfair and painful that my victories have to be attacked and my hard work ignored.”

Connecticut is currently one of 17 states that allows student athletes to compete in divisions that align with their gender identity.

*story by THEM.