Horne Continues Fight To Protect Girls’ Sports In Court

July 17, 2023

By Daniel Stefanski |

The State’s Republican Superintendent of Public Instruction continues to fight on behalf of an Arizona law.

Last week, the Arizona Department of Education sent a media advisory to note that “State schools chief Tom Horne is at U.S. District Court in Tucson to stand up for the state’s law prohibiting biological boys from participating in girls’ sports.” The communication announced that “a federal judge is hearing arguments whether to temporarily block the ban that was signed into law last year.”

That law was SB 1165, which was signed by former Arizona Governor Doug Ducey on March 30, 2022. The law prohibits biological males from competing in women’s and girls’ athletic events at state public schools, colleges, and universities.

The Department later posted a tweet on the issue, which stated, “Superintendent Horne is defending Arizona state law which bans biological boys from competing in girl’s sports. Title IX was created for equal opportunities for female athletes, and allowing males to compete in women’s sports undermines everything these athletes have fought for.”

AZ Free News reached out to Superintendent Horne about his thoughts on the legal hearing and the case in general. Horne replied, “It’s partly about safety but it’s mostly about fairness and the fact that there have been many news articles about girls who focused very strongly on sports, worked really hard, hoped to excel, maybe get a college scholarship or be in the Olympics or whatever, and then all of a sudden have to compete against biological males. They have no chance to compete successfully against them and they’re devastated by it. Now they have found what they believe to be sympathetic plaintiffs because they’re 11-year-olds who are using puberty blockers, so they say they lose the advantage of males. But we have presented numerous peer-reviewed scientific studies to the court showing that even before puberty, males still have an advantage. Our evidence is overwhelming compared to theirs.”

The Arizona Women of Action applauded the latest action from the Department, writing, “We greatly appreciate Tom Horne for upholding the Save Girl’s Sports Act. AZ Women of Action stands with Tom Horne in this endeavor by joining the lawsuit & representing Arizona families who want to save girls’ sports.”

At least some Democrats saw Horne’s defense of the law in a different light. The Yavapai County Democrats tweeted, “Sup. Horne seen here wasting time on a manufactured crisis. Protect public schools. Do something useful for education. Horne is a disgrace.”

Horne isn’t the only Arizona official who has weighed in on this court case. Earlier this year, both Arizona Senate President Warren Petersen and House Speaker Ben Toma filed a Motion to Intervene in the United States District Court for the District of Arizona Tucson Division. The Senate Republican’s press release highlighted that “on April 17, 2023, plaintiffs represented by a radical organization filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to stop the law from being enforced in Arizona,” and “Attorney General Kris Mayes is not defending the constitutionality of the law.”

At the time, Petersen said, “In the absence of the Attorney General defending Arizona’s law, we’re looking forward to fighting for the rights of female athletes across Arizona, as well as for the Court making it clear Arizona’s law protecting women and girls should be enforced.”

Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.

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