The American Civil Liberties Union of Utah, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati filed a lawsuit on behalf of two Utah families to stop H.B. 11, the state’s ban on transgender girls competing in sports, from going into effect. By singling out transgender girls and barring them from the competition, H.B. 11 is in violation of numerous provisions of the Utah constitution.

Attorney(s)

John Mejia, Jason Groth, Valentina De Fex

Date filed

May 31, 2022

Court

Third Judicial District Court in and for Salt Lake County, Utah

Judge

The Honorable Keith Kelly

Status

Filed

Case number

220903262

About the Lawsuit

About the Case

On Tuesday, March 31, 2022, the ACLU of Utah, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, challenged HB 11 which bars trans girls from playing in school sports.

A photo of a sign that reads "Trans Rights Now!"

This lawsuit challenges Part 9 of House Bill 11. which prohibits girls who are transgender from competing on a girls’ team in interscholastic school sports. It does so by providing that “sex” is “determined by an individual’s genetics and anatomy at birth” and then banning all “student[s] of the male sex” from any “team designated for students of the female sex in an interscholastic athletic activity.” H.B. 11 at Part 9. Based on this statutory language, a transgender girl, regardless of her individual circumstances, will be treated as “male” and barred from competing on a girls’ team in any sport. By singling out transgender girls for disfavored treatment, the Ban violates multiple provisions of the Utah Constitution. The law erroneously uses a student’s transgender status as a proxy for athletic ability and thus is overbroad, unjustifiably banning all transgender girls from competing on girls’ teams regardless of their individual circumstances or the sport in which they want to compete.

Press Release

On Tuesday, March 31, 2022, the ACLU of Utah, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, with support from Equality Utah, shared this press release on the lawsuit.

A photo of a person holing a sign that says trans rights are human rights. The sign is the transgender flag. In the background are three rainbow pride flags.

The law, which the Legislature enacted over Governor Spencer Cox’s veto, singles out transgender girls in order to exclude them from girls’ sports. It bars every transgender girl from competing on a girls’ team regardless of her medical care or individual circumstances.

The students included in the challenge are transgender girls who are current public-school students, love sports, and want to participate in sports with other girls. The families of these children are proceeding anonymously to protect their children. They include Jenny Roe, a 16-year-old junior in High School who wants to play volleyball her senior year and Jane Noe, a 13-year-old swimmer. If HB 11 is allowed to go into effect, these children will be barred from playing the sports they love.

FAQ About HB 11 Lawsuit

Read this FAQ about HB 11 and our lawsuit filed on behalf of two transgender students.

Photo for FAQ with a FAQ speech bubble next to a transgender flag.

If you have questions about why ACLU Utah filed a lawsuit against HB 11 we encourage you to read this FAQ that explains our issues with HB 11.