Ruling Delivers Setback to Controversial Arizona Law Banning Men from Girls' Sports

A federal judge in Tucson, Arizona, granted the plaintiffs' request for a preliminary injunction last week, preventing the implementation of a state law that would prohibit men from participating in girls' sports. The Save Women's Sports Act of Arizona, passed in 2022 and signed into law by the state's then-Gov. Doug Ducey, prohibits students of the male sex from participating in athletic teams or sports that are "...designated for 'females,' "'women," or "girls."

The Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) had a policy that permitted men to participate on girls' sports teams if their request was accepted by a "committee of medical and psychiatric experts, and consistent with AIA health and safety policy, and if not motivated by an improper purpose," before the law was passed in 2022.

Arizona is not the only state with a law defending female athletes. Similar laws have been enacted in at least 20 additional states, the majority of which are also being challenged in court.


An immediate injunction is a severe form of legal relief. It stops a law from taking effect, and plaintiffs must demonstrate the following elements in order for the court to grant the injunction:

On the merits of their claims, they have a good chance of winning.
In the absence of immediate relief, they are likely to experience irreparable harm.
Equities are in their favor as a whole.
The public is interested in an injunction.

However, the order's numerous "findings of facts and conclusions of law," the majority of which sound like jargon lifted directly from the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) website, were written by Obama-appointed Judge Jennifer Zipps.

Judge Zipps believes that because the two transgender plaintiffs, who are 11 and 15 years old, respectively, have taken medication to prevent them from going through male puberty, the plaintiffs are likely to be successful in their claims that the Arizona law is unconstitutional. The testimony of Drs. Brown and Hilton that boys have some biological advantages related to physical fitness prior to puberty does not support the conclusion that Plaintiffs [who are biological males], who have not gone through male puberty, have any athletic advantage over other girls or pose a safety risk to other girls by participating on girls' sports teams, as Judge Zipps puts it.

The order also deems it necessary to make a factual determination regarding the pro-trans advocates' go-to scare tactic, which claims that preventing "transition" exposes kids to risks such as bullying and discrimination as well as "anxiety, depression, eating disorders, substance abuse, self-harm, and suicide." At the very least, these statistics appear to be exaggerated.

In the end, the court rules that the plaintiffs will suffer "irreparable harm" if they are not allowed to participate in girls' sports. This is because, in addition to having their constitutional rights violated, it would be painful and humiliating for them to not be able to "live as girls in all aspects of their lives," including athletics. Living as girls in every aspect of their lives is reportedly a crucial component of their treatment for gender dysphoria.

Following the court's decision, the defendants in the case, which also include the AIA, the two schools and school districts involved, the state superintendent of instruction, and the local superintendent of instruction, have declared their intent to appeal the decision. State School Superintendent Tom Horne believes that the United States Supreme Court will ultimately decide whether or not to uphold the ruling, despite the fact that the liberal Ninth Circuit is likely to do so.


In an ironic parody of the original Title IX, the federal guidance established in large part to safeguard girls' sports, it is simple to mock the Orwellian language that permits two males to participate in female sports.

Two young victims, both boys who have thought they were girls since they were young, are the focus of this lawsuit, though. Both have taken or will soon begin taking medication to prevent puberty and both "knew they were a girl." Parents, teachers, peers, and most recently, a federal court, have all consistently supported both in embracing their new identities. Sadly, that is the real irreparable damage.

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