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USA Powerlifting Must Allow Transgender Athletes to Compete With Women, Court Rules

AP Photo/Armando Franca

USA Powerlifting will allow male-bodied transgender athletes to compete in the women’s division after a transgender athlete won a discrimination lawsuit against the organization. 


The athlete, JayCee Cooper, filed a complaint against the organization in 2019 with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights for being banned from competing in the USA Powerlifting women’s category, Fox News reported. Cooper then filed a lawsuit against USA Powerlifting in state court in 2021. 

"I was fed up with the way that I was being treated; I was fed up with the way that my community was being treated, and enough was enough," Cooper said in an interview with KARE 11 about the lawsuit.

Reportedly, USA Powerlifting must revise its transgender athlete policy within two weeks. The organization is considering an appeal. 

“Our position has been aimed at balancing the needs of cis- and transgender women, whose capacities differ significantly in purely strength sports,” USA Powerlifting president Lawrence J. Maile in a statement to multiple outlets. “We respectfully disagree with the Court’s conclusions. We are considering all of our options, including appeal.”

ESPN anchor Sage Steele called the ruling “unfair to women” and pointed out that the ruling came out at the start of Women’s History Month. This came in response to Elon Musk stating that the decision is “extremely unfair to anyone with XX chromosomes.”


A new piece of legislation, the “Protection of Women and Girls in Sports Act of 2023,” which was introduced by Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s (R) and Florida Rep. Greg Steube’s (R), would strengthen Title IX protections to ensure that biological males who identify as women are not allowed to compete in women’s sports. 

“Throughout my coaching career, I saw the incomparable success of Title IX and the educational and personal opportunities sports have provided to millions of female athletes. For more than 50 years, this law has empowered young women to grow personally, compete professionally, and receive scholarships to further their education,” Sen. Tuberville told Townhall of the legislation.

“The positive impacts of a fair playing field in women’s sports are unmatched, but the Biden administration is forcing female athletes to the sidelines by allowing biological males to compete where they do not belong,” he continued. “It’s unfair, it’s unsafe, and it’s wrong."


In June, Townhall reported how a poll conducted by The Washington Post and the University of Maryland found that the majority of Americans – 55 percent – opposed allowing biological males who identify as women to compete in women’s sports at the college and professional level. The poll was taken at a time when “the issue of whether transgender females should compete against cisgender women and girls has become a point of social and political debate,” the poll write-up explained. And, a separate poll published by Pew Research found that 58 percent of Americans favor requirements for transgender athletes to compete on sports teams that align with their biological sex. 

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