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Attorneys Ask Connecticut Judge To Recuse After Forbidding Reference To Transgender Athletes As Males

Shelby Talcott Media Reporter
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Attorneys for three female high school track stars embroiled in a lawsuit aimed at preventing biological males from competing in their sport asked the judge to recuse himself Saturday because he refused to allow them to call the transgender athletes “males.”

The girls – Selina Soule, Alana Smith and Chelsea Mitchell – are being represented by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a conservative Christian nonprofit organization.

The lawsuit was filed in February against the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) and is fighting against their policy that students can compete based on what gender they identify as. (RELATED: Study Finds Transgender Athletes Have Advantages In Women’s Sports, Even After 12 Months Of Hormone Therapy)

Judge Robert Chatigny criticized the ADF attorneys on April 16 for referring to the transgender athletes at the center of the case – Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood – as “males,” according to a transcript obtained by the Daily Caller. Lead attorney Roger Brooks disagreed with Chatigny, pointing out that the transgender athletes’ biological sex is important to the case.

“What I’m saying is you must refer to them as ‘transgender females’ rather than as ‘males,'” Chatigny said according to the transcript. “Again, that’s the more accurate terminology, and I think that it fully protects your client’s legitimate interests. Referring to these individuals as ‘transgender females’ is consistent with science, common practice and perhaps human decency. To refer to them as ‘males,’ period, is not accurate, certainly not as accurate, and I think it’s needlessly provocative.”

“I don’t think that you surrender any legitimate interest or position if you refer to them as transgender females. That is what the case is about. 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. So going forward, we will not refer to the proposed intervenors as ‘males’; understood?”

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Brooks argued that “Gender identity is not the point of this case” and said his concern was now he would be unable to properly defend his clients. Brooks asked if he could use the word “transgender” instead of “transgender females,” which the judge allowed.

Chatigny added that he didn’t want to “bully” the ADF attorneys and suggested if they had a problem, they “might need to take an application to the Court of Appeals,” according to the transcript.

“A disinterested observer would reasonably believe that the Court’s order
and comments have destroyed the appearance of impartiality in this proceeding. That requires recusal,” a copy of the motion obtained by the Daily Caller reads.

“To be sure, the public debate over gender identity and sports is a heated and emotional one. This only increases the urgency that court preserve their role as the singular place in society where all can be heard and present facts before an impartial tribunal.”

The two transgender athletes have won a combined 15 female indoor and outdoor events since 2017, ADF attorney’s previously said. Before they started competing, ten different females had those titles.

Miller and Yearwood are still in the process of transitioning, according to previous reports.

“It makes me realize that before I even run, I already lost and I won’t be able to get a fair spot,” Smith, one of the girl’s on the lawsuit, told the Daily Caller in February.