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Soule v. Connecticut Association of Schools

Case Concerning School Athletics for Transgender Students

Key Date: July 9, 2021 • Appealed to 2nd Circuit
Legal Team: ACLU
Type: Transgender Student Cases

Case Overview:

Soule v. Connecticut Association of Schools is a case concerning discrimination based on gender identity or expression in schools. The lawsuit challenges the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference and multiple school boards who have transgender-inclusive policies. The lawsuit also names two transgender student athletes, transgender girls who play on girls’ sports teams.

Opponents of the case are defending transgender students and fighting for their right to be respected for who they are. The anti-LGBTQ Alliance Defending Freedom brought the case.

Student athlete Andraya Yearwood said in a statement from the ACLU, which has requested to intervene in the case on the students’ behalf: “I have known two things for most of my life: I am a girl and I love to run. 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. Every day I train hard — I work hard to succeed on the track, to support my teammates, and to make my community proud. It is so painful that people not only want to tear down my successes, but take down the laws and policies that protect people like me. I will never stop being me! I will never stop running! I hope that the next generation of trans youth doesn’t have to fight the fights that I have. I hope they can be celebrated when they succeed not demonized. For the next generation, I run for you!”

Latest in the Case:

On April 25, 2021,

Case History:

  • February 12, 2020: Alliance Defending Freedom files the case in federal district court in Connecticut.  The complaint alleges that the trans-inclusive policy adopted by the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference violates Title IX, and asks for an injunction to block transgender girls from participating in girls’ sports and “to correct any and all records, public or non-public, to remove [transgender athletes] from any record or recognition purporting to record times, victories, or qualifications for elite competitions designated for girls or women….”
  • February 28, 2020: The ACLU files a motion to intervene in the suit on behalf of the two transgender student athletes named in the complaint.
  • June 16, 2020: The judge hearing the case denied ADF’s motion to disqualify or recuse himself or transfer the case to another judge because he had instructed ADF to stop referring to the transgender female athletes as males. 
  • July 6, 2020: ADF asks the Second Circuit to review that ruling. ADF’s motion for a preliminary injunction and motions to dismiss the complaint are pending.
  • April 25, 2021: The federal district court dismisses the suit, saying it was moot as the two athletes named had graduated. ADF gave notice they intend to appeal.
  • June 9, 2021: ADF files its initial brief with the 2nd Circuit court.

Last Updated September 2021

Initial Complaint

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