USA Powerlifting will be forced to allow males who appropriate female stereotypes to compete in women’s divisions. The federation had previously banned JayCee Cooper, a male lifter, from female competition. He took them to court for discrimination and won.
Cooper filed a complaint in 2019 with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, alleging the organization violated the state's Human Rights Act by banning her and other trans athletes from competing in female competitions.
She 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 told KARE-TV.
“I feel mostly relief. I think we needed a win here, and it feels good to get that.”
“The harm is in making a person pretend to be something different, the implicit message being that who they are is less than,” the ruling said. “That is the very essence of separation and segregation, and it is what the MHRA prohibits.”
Binary Spokeswoman Kirralie Smith said the harm was being done to women, not men.
“This is offensive and an outright lie. The real harm is forcing society to accept the lie that men are women. They are not,” she said.
“A male appropriating female stereotypes is pretending to be something he is not, yet females are forced to accommodate their fantasies.
“Males have a distinct advantage in sport, with demonstrably more strength, stamina and speed. Why have men and women’s divisions if males can compete wherever they like? Where are the safeguards for girls and women?”
Ms Smith said that these kinds of decisions totally ignore the reality that women face.
“One week a month, every month of the year a female competitor’s capacity is reduced due to her menstrual cycle,” she said.
“No male will ever have this kind of reduced capacity, he will always have an unfair advantage.”
USA Powerlifting is considering an appeal against the decision.
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