Thursday, July 20, 2023

Christopher Vasquez | NCLR Director of Communications
415-365-1337 | cvasquez@nclrights.org

TUCSON, AZ — Today, a federal judge in Arizona issued an order blocking enforcement of an Arizona law that bars all transgender girls from playing on girls’ sports teams. The court held that the new law likely violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution and Title IX by singling out transgender girls and barring them from competing on girls’ teams regardless of their individual circumstances.

The suit is brought by two Arizona girls who love sports and wish to play on their school’s teams. The ruling follows an oral argument and extensive documentary evidence the girls’ attorneys presented about the ongoing harm caused by enforcement of the law.

“We’re happy with this decision, of course, and our daughter is thrilled to join her friends playing the sports they all love,” said Kate and Robert Roe, parent Plaintiffs in the lawsuit. “We’re so grateful that the court understood that all girls deserve the opportunity to participate in school sports.”

“We are pleased by the court’s decision. Our daughter and all girls deserve the opportunity to reap the benefits of school sports,” said Helen and James Doe, parent Plaintiffs in the lawsuit. “We are relieved that the judge saw past the misconceptions and harmful rhetoric used to demonize transgender girls. Our daughter is looking forward to making new friends and playing the sports that she loves.” 

“We are very pleased with the Court’s decision that allows our clients to play on girls’ sports teams while this case proceeds,” said Rachel Berg, Staff Attorney at the National Center for Lesbian Rights. ”The Court recognized the law is overbroad and cannot survive constitutional scrutiny. We look forward to securing a permanent ruling.”

“The Court’s well-reasoned decision exposes the lack of any legitimate justification for this discriminatory law, which inflicts severe and irreparable harm on transgender girls like Megan and Jane,” said Justin R. Rassi, Associate at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. “We are very happy that, as a result of this ruling, Jane and Megan will be immediately able to resume playing sports with their friends.”

“I’m extremely pleased that our clients can continue to do what they love, playing sports, while we move forward,” said Colin Proksel, Partner at Osborn Maledon, P.A.

The plaintiffs are represented by the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, and Osborn Maledon P.A.

The court’s ruling on the preliminary injunction bars enforcement of the ban as to the plaintiffs while the remainder of the litigation proceeds through the Arizona federal court.


The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) is a national legal organization committed to advancing the human and civil rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education. Since its founding, NCLR has maintained a longstanding commitment to racial and economic justice and the LGBTQ community’s most vulnerable.https://www.nclrights.org/