Horne defends law that keeps transgender athletes off girls' sports teams
Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne has submitted new legal filings in an effort to keep transgender athletes from playing on school sports teams that differ from their gender assigned at birth.
Horne is fighting a federal lawsuit challenging a state law that prohibits biological boys from participating in girls’ school sports.
He held a press conference Wednesday where he said he "feels deep sympathy for people who feel they were born in the wrong body, but ..."
“I also believe biological males should not compete against females because it’s unfair and it will ultimately undermine women's sports, which have benefited so much under Title IX," Horne said.
Horne was joined by Marshi Smith, one of 45 female athletes who signed a letter last year, criticizing the NCAA’s decision to allow males who identify as transgender to compete against women.
The letter references swimmer Lia Thomas, who won the 500 freestyle final at the 2022 NCAA Swimming Championships. Horne brought up Thomas during the press conference as well.
“There are stories like this all over the country about girls who work really hard to excel and then they have to compete against a male and they’re devastated by it," Horne said. "It’s a terrible, terrible injustice.”
Horne’s most recent filing is a response to the plaintiff’s motion for a preliminary injunction. He’s the only remaining defendant as the other named parties have decided not to defend the law.