Lawyers for three female high school athletes in Connecticut are demanding that a federal judge be taken off their case after he ordered them to use the term "transgender females" when referring to boys who identify as girls.
The attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom are representing high school track athletes Selina Soule, Alana Smith and Chelsea Mitchell, who are suing the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference over its policy that allows biological males to compete in girls' athletic competitions.
The lawyers say Judge Robert Chatigny of the U.S. District Court of Connecticut cannot adjudicate the case impartially in light of an April 16 conference call in which he ordered them not to use the word "males" when addressing male athletes who identify as female.
In an audio recording of a call that was later shared with National Review, the judge insisted that ADF lawyers refer to the trans-identified male athletes as "transgender females," characterizing ADF's use of physiological terms as gratuitously antagonistic.
"That’s the more accurate terminology, and I think that it fully protects your client’s legitimate interests,” Chatigny said. “Referring to these individuals as 'transgender females' is consistent with science, common practice and, perhaps, human decency. To refer to them as 'males,' period, is not accurate, certainly not as accurate, and I think it’s needlessly provocative.”
Chatigny further stated that the ADF attorneys don’t “surrender any legitimate interest or position” if they “refer to them as transgender females.”
“That is what the case is about,” Chatigny contended. “This isn’t a case involving males who have decided that they want to run in girls’ events. This is a case about girls who say that transgender girls should not be allowed to run in girls’ events. So going forward, we will not refer to the proposed intervenors as 'males;' understood?"
Chatigny was appointed to the bench in 1994 by Democrat President Bill Clinton.
Lead ADF attorney Roger Brooks said on the call that his clients' main argument is that the biology of the trans-identified male athletes is precisely the reason they possess an advantage over the female athletes.
Brooks said he was happy to use the female names of the boys who have been competing against the girls but that "[t]he point of this case is physiology of bodies driven by chromosomes and the documented athletic advantage that comes from a male body, male hormones and male puberty in particular."
ADF attorneys filed a motion Saturday to disqualify Chatigny from the case. They claim that his demand that they say words that undermine their argument is "legally unprecedented" and reveals judicial bias.
Critics of transgender ideology say that a central feature of their objections to what is known as "gender identity" is the fact that language — the very means of communication everyone must use to interact in society — is overhauled in an attempt to overwrite material reality.
To concede the language is to concede everything because language indelibly shapes the law and public policy, the critics maintain.
Kara Dansky, an attorney and board member with the Women's Liberation Front, said in an emailed response to The Christian Post on Tuesday that to fight for the rights, privacy and safety of women and girls, it must be clearly stated what the category “women and girls” means.
"As everybody knows — it means human females," Dansky said.
"By forbidding the attorney from using the word 'males,' the judge is not only already pre-judging the case; he is forcing these girls to deny reality. The judge should grant the Motion to Disqualify."
The Women's Liberation Front is a radical feminist group that has actively bolstered the female athletes.
"It is outrageous for a United States federal judge to order an attorney to misstate his own arguments by using language that deliberately distorts the truth and corrupts the English language," Dansky added.
The female track stars from Connecticut have long maintained that they are being robbed of the chance to compete in advanced track meets and other opportunities as a result of males being allowed to compete against them. The plaintiffs say their lawsuit is aimed at restoring fairness to female sports.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a statement of interest in support of the girls’ stance.
“In our pluralistic society we generally try to accommodate how individuals desire to live their lives up to the point where those desires impinge on the other people’s rights,” Attorney General William Barr said in a statement at the time.
“Allowing biological males to compete in all-female sports deprives women of the opportunity to participate fully and fairly in sports and is fundamentally unfair to female athletes.”
In late March, the state of Idaho became the first state in the nation to prohibit males — regardless of how they identify — from competing in high school and college-level female athletic competitions.
In response, the ACLU filed a lawsuit alleging that the state’s law discriminates against transgender-identifying people.