US Court Rules That Trans Weightlifters Can Compete Against Women

Fact checked

A Minnesota state court has ruled that USA Powerlifting must include biological men who identify as women in the women’s divisions of competitions.

The decision was made following a discrimination court case.

Weightlifter JayCee Cooper won a lawsuit against the organisation after claiming it violated Minnesota state’s Human Rights Act after he was barred from competing against women.

MSN reports: The federation was ordered to “cease and desist from all unfair discriminatory practices” related to sexual orientation and gender identity and reverse its former policy of barring transgender athletes within two weeks, according to the ruling.

“The harm is in making a person pretend to be something different, the implicit message being that who they are is less than. That is the very essence of separation and segregation, and it is what the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) prohibits.”

Ms Cooper described to Minnesota television station KARE her feelings of relief that a court had ruled in her favour: “I was fed up with the way that I was being treated, I was fed up with the way that my community was being treated and enough was enough.”

USA Powerlifting officials said they were considering appealing the decision.

“Our position has been aimed at balancing the needs of cis- and transgender women, whose capacities differ significantly in purely strength sports,” said Lawrence Maile, the organisation’s president, in a statement to KARE.

“We have received a summary judgement decision from the court finding us liable for discrimination. We respectfully disagree with the court’s conclusions. We are considering all of our options, including appeal,” Mr Maile said.

Across the US the issue has become divisive, with 18 states passing laws banning transgender women or girls in sports.