The Utah Attorney General's Office wants to dismiss a lawsuit against the Utah High School Activities Association and school districts filed by three transgender girls who want to play on their high school girls' sports teams.
This year, the Utah Legislature passed HB11, which bans transgender girls from competing on girls' teams at public schools. Lawmakers approved the contentious bill during the final hours of the general session, and Gov. Spencer Cox promptly vetoed it, decrying the process it went through. The Legislature later met for a special session to override the governor’s veto.
Attorneys for the girls with Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich and Rosati, and the ACLU of Utah, say the ban is based on “unfounded stereotypes” and fears that are unsupported by scientific evidence. The attorneys call the law "so broad and unqualified" and say it causes severe damage, according to the complaint.
The lawsuit alleges the law violates the girls' rights under the Utah Constitution.
Attorney General Sean Reyes' office contended in a statement Thursday that the case seeks to address the "intersection of an emerging social challenge confronting policymakers worldwide: how to best preserve fair competition and safety in women's sports while also accommodating the interests of transgender persons in social interactions (here, high school sports) that align with their gender identity."
Reyes' office said the state believes the complaint doesn't allege "viable claims" under the Utah Constitution.
The office believes that "the Legislature is best situated and constitutionally vested with the power to balance the competing interests at stake," according to the statement.
Reyes' office also filed its opposition to the girls' attorneys' request for a preliminary injunction to halt the law while the lawsuit makes its way through the courts.
A judge has yet to make a decision on the motion to dismiss the case.