Debevoise Files Lawsuit Challenging Arizona’s Ban on Transgender Girls Playing School Sports

18 April 2023

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP has filed a lawsuit on behalf of two families challenging S.B. 1165, a law which prohibits every transgender girl in Arizona from competing on girls’ sports teams regardless of her medical care or individual circumstances. The firm is representing the plaintiffs together with the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and Osborn Maledon P.A.

The two students included in the challenge are transgender girls who love sports and want to participate in sports with other girls. The two families are proceeding anonymously to protect their children, who include Jane Doe, an 11-year-old who wants to play girls’ soccer, basketball, and cross-country when she enters middle school, and Megan Roe, a 15-year-old volleyball player. Jane and Megan will be barred from playing the sports they love as a result of S.B. 1165.

The suit argues that by singling out transgender girls for disfavored treatment and denying them opportunities to try out for and participate on girls’ sports teams, S.B. 1165 violates the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution, Title IX, the American with Disabilities Act, and the Rehabilitation Act.

To read more about the case, see NCLR’s press release. NCLR is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, legislation, policy, and public education.

The Debevoise team is led by Jyotin Hamid and Justin Rassi, and includes associates Amy Zimmerman, Samuel Rosh, and Anjali Mehta, and law clerk Prakriti Luthra.