“At this point, I have been provided with little evidence that this law solves any problem, let alone a significant problem,” Goodwin wrote in his ruling.
LGBTQ advocates were quick to applaud West Virginia’s decision, noting it could pave the way for similar rulings in cases involving other anti-trans laws. So far this year, Alabama, Florida, South Dakota, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee and Montana have enacted similar sports bans.
“We hope the courts recognize and address discrimination when they see it, and nowhere is it more visible than in these brutal attacks on trans youth,” said Avatara Smith-Carrington, lawyer at Lambda Legal, in a statement.
Goodwin wrote in his ruling that “forcing a girl to compete on the boys ‘team when a girls’ team is available would cause her unnecessary distress and stigma,” adding that it would also create confusion for coaches and teammates.
“And not only would BPJ be completely excluded from women’s sports, she would be excluded because of who she is: a transgender girl.”
“I’m absolutely all in it, because I don’t think from our girls’ point of view, we should allow a situation where, you know, for some reason we end up with a top athlete who might just take our girls in the competition, “he said at a press conference.
Loree Stark, chief legal officer for the West Virginia ACLU, said in a statement Wednesday that “we have said throughout this cruel legislation will not survive legal challenge, and we are encouraged by the court’s decision today. ‘hui “.
“We hope that trans children across West Virginia who have felt attacked and harmed by the passage of this legislation feel empowered by today’s news,” she added.
CNN has contacted the Justice Office for comment, as well as West Virginia House Education President Joe Ellington, a Republican who was one of the bill’s sponsors.