Arizona superintendent of public instruction Tom Horne is defending his policy approach after the parents of two Arizona transgender athletes filed a lawsuit against his office.

In a press conference Wednesday, Horne appeared alongside 45 girl athletes who support the ban of transgender girls from playing in all-girls’ sports leagues.

“I feel very deep sympathy for people who feel they were born in the wrong body,” Horne told the media. “But I also believe that 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 Nine, and we can lose the whole thing.”

Horne also cited a Washington Post poll that stated 60 percent of respondents are opposed to “biological men” competing with “biological women.”

Horne says he submitted the filings to defend the state law signed in 2022. That restricts trans girls from playing with and against their cisgender girl classmates.

Read the full response to that lawsuit from Tom Horne’s defense team here.