Law Restricting Sports by Biological Sex Ruled Constitutional: West Virginia Judge

A West Virginia law prohibiting individuals from participating in single-sex sports teams that do not match their biological sex has been ruled constitutional by a judge, The Epoch Times reports.

The law, known as the “Save Women’s Sports Bill” or House Bill 3293, was passed by the state legislature and signed into law by Governor Jim Justice in 2021.

The legislation asserts that there are “inherent differences between biological males and biological females” and that “biological males would displace females to a substantial extent if permitted to compete on teams designated for biological females.”

The law prohibits people born male from participating in female sports teams and vice versa.

A biological male child with the initials B.P.J., who was 11 years old at the time, filed a lawsuit in federal court in West Virginia after being denied the opportunity to participate in female sports at a middle school due to the new law. B.P.J. identifies as female.

The lawsuit claimed that the law discriminated against biological male children who identify as female in violation of the U.S. Constitution and Title IX, including the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which states that no state may deny a person within its jurisdiction “equal protection of the laws.”

U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin, a Clinton appointee, ruled on Thursday that the law is not unconstitutional because the classification is “substantially related to an important government interest.”

Judge Goodwin cited the fact that males, on average, have higher levels of testosterone beginning at puberty, which can lead to superior athletic performance compared to females.

In his 23-page ruling, Judge Goodwin wrote that “this is not an overbroad generalization, but rather a general principle that realistically reflects the average physical differences between the sexes.”

The judge also noted that B.P.J. had begun taking puberty blockers, a medication that halts puberty, once signs of male puberty began to appear.

However, Judge Goodwin pointed out that not all transgender girls have taken such blockers.

While Judge Goodwin suggested that the state could adopt a “more inclusive policy” allowing transgender children to play on sports teams of a different biological sex, he stated that it was not within the purview of the judiciary to impose such a requirement.