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Utah judge rules against state ban on transgender girls in sports

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A state court has ruled against a recently passed Utah law prohibiting on transgender girls participating in sports consistent with the gender identity, issuing an order barring school officials from enforcing the ban while giving authority to a legislature-created commission.

Third Circuit Judge R. Keith Kelly issued the preliminary injunction on Friday in a case filed by the National Center for Lesbian Rights on behalf of three transgender girls undergoing treatment for gender transition and seeking to participate in girls’ sports.

Kelly’s ruling doesn’t outright allow the girls’ to participate in sports and stop the state from barring other transgender girls from playing in sports, but gives authority to whether or not they can take part to legislature-created commission provided for under the Utah law in the event of a court ruling against it. “The court is not persuaded that giving plaintiffs and other transgender girls a chance to participate in school sports on an equal footing with other girls poses any threat to the public interest,” Kelly writes. “That is particularly clear given that enjoining the ban will not mean that plaintiffs must be permitted to compete on girls’ teams, but only that they may seek permission from a commission to do so.” The ban on transgender girls participating in school sports is one of several such prohibitions enacted by states as part of the latest wave of legislation decried as anti-LGBTQ.

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