Superintendent Horne defends Arizona's transgender sports ban in federal court

By Bridget Dowd
Published: Monday, July 10, 2023 - 6:23pm

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Tom Horne
Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
Tom Horne

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne was in federal court in Tucson on Monday.

He was defending the state law prohibiting transgender girls from playing on girls’ sports teams.

Horne is named as a defendant in the lawsuit filed in April, by the parents of two transgender girls. Their students want to play on girls’ school sports teams.

During Monday’s hearing, a judge heard arguments on the motion to temporarily block the law while the case proceeds, allowing the students to play, at least for now.

Speaking to KJZZ before the hearing, Horne said he thinks he has a very strong case.

“We have a number of peer-reviewed studies that show that even pre-puberty, boys have an advantage over girls and we have somebody who was a coach for over 30 years at an elementary school who observed that boys that have not yet reached puberty have an advantage over girls,” Horne said.

In order for their motion to be granted, the plaintiffs will have to prove that enforcing the ban would cause them irreparable harm.

“They have to show clearly that they will prevail on the merits and that they will be damaged if they don’t get the preliminary injunction and I don’t think they can show either one,” Horne said.

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