A Thursday ruling by a federal judge is putting Arizona’s Save Women’s Sports Act on hold for now, after siding with plaintiffs’ request to grant a temporary injunction on the law.

Two unnamed transgender girlsboth minorstook their argument to court in June, saying that their exclusion from the sports teams of their gender identities would result in irreparable emotional, psychological, and developmental harm to their educational and social development.

The 2022 legislation places restrictions on who can plan on teams with gender specifications. According to the law, athletic teams or sports designated for Females, Women or Girls may not be open to students of the male sex.

But Judge Jennifer Zipps said in her decision that the law could potentially cause harm to the transgender girls, citing high rates of distress, anxiety and suicide among individuals experiencing gender dysphoria.

Both plaintiffs were diagnosed with gender dysphoria at young ages, 7 and 10, and have been living as girls and taking puberty-blocking medication according to court documents. The two will not experience male puberty, according to record.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne, the defendant in the case, made the argument that the law prevents physical advantages by trans girls in sports, previously telling KGUN 9, They want to say that pre-puberty the girls and the boys are equal, and theyre not. Boys are better at sports.


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Further testimony and documents provided by the court show that the two girls have previously played on girls teams prior to the passage of the law, and that their involvement in their sports teams has provided emotional and physical benefits. The court decision reads in part:

Exclusion from athletics on the basis of sex is a cognizable harm under Title IX because it deprives Plaintiffs of the benefits of sports programs and activities that their non-transgender classmates enjoy Plaintiffs will also suffer severe and irreparable mental, physical, and emotional harm if the Act applies to them because they cannot play on boys sports teams. Playing on a boys team would directly contradict Plaintiffs medical treatment for gender dysphoria and would be painful and humiliating. Plaintiffs mental health is dependent on living as girls in all aspects of their lives

Zipps also writes in her ruling that the defense failed to prove harm to biological girls on teams with trans girlsone of the assertions made in Hornes defense.

The record does not support a finding that during the 10 to 12 years prior to passage of the Act there was a risk of any physical injury to or missed athletic opportunity by any girl as a result of allowing seven transgender girls to play on sports teams consistent with their gender identity, Zipps wrote.

Horne says he already has plans to appeal the ruling:

We will appeal this ruling. This will ultimately be decided by the United States Supreme Court, and they will rule in our favor. The Plaintiffs in this case claimed that this only involves pre-pubescent boys, but we presented peer-reviewed studies that show pre-pubescent boys have an advantage over girls in sports. The only expert presented by the Plaintiffs was a medical doctor who makes his money doing sex transition treatments on children and who has exactly zero peer-reviewed studies to support his opinion.