Illinois Attorney General joins brief to protect transgender students’ rights

woman athletes playing soccer
Photo by Noelle Otto on

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul joined 13 attorneys general in filing an amicus brief challenging an Indiana statute that bans transgender girls from participating in girls’ school sports.

The brief is filed in A.M. v. Indianapolis Public Schools, which arose after a 10-year-old student was barred from playing on her school’s girls’ softball team after the law was passed even though the student had been a part of the team with no issue in the past.

Indiana passed the law in May.

The brief argues that the court should affirm the preliminary injunction entered by the lower court, which allowed the Indiana student to continue participating on her team during the ongoing litigation. The court made its ruling on the basis that the Indiana statute, which banned her from the team, likely violates Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, as it denies transgender girls access to the same athletic opportunities that other girls and boys have.

“No student should face discrimination or restrictions on participating in extra-curricular activities due to their gender identity,” said Raoul in a statement. “I will continue to work to protect transgender youth from discrimination and allow them to participate equally in activities with their peers. My office will not stop advocating for all LGBTQ+ students.”

The brief filed by the coalition also notes that more than 1.6 million people in the United States, including about 300,000 youth between the ages of 13 and 17, identify as transgender. One survey of transgender students found that 77% of respondents reported negative experiences in school, including verbal harassment and assault. Raoul and fellow attorneys general demonstrate in the brief that allowing transgender students to participate in school sports yields broad benefits for all students without reducing opportunity for anyone.

Joining Raoul in filing the brief are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.