A biological male won his almost five-year battle with USA Powerlifting to be permitted to compete against women in the sport.
Transgender weightlifter JayCee Cooper started the campaign in 2019 with letters and legal actions against the organization after it rejected his bid to lift against women. He claimed the organization violated the state’s Human Rights Act.
Cooper filed a lawsuit in Minnesota state court and received a favorable ruling.
Happy woman’s history month to you! . USA Powerlifting WILL allow trans athletes to compete after losing a discrimination case. And Hershey’s Canada put a transgender on their chocolate bar wrapper, in honor of women. What’s next? https://t.co/KUtoBlQi1p
— Colette Harrington (@sweetcarolinatv) March 5, 2023
The court cited Minnesota’s anti-discrimination law in siding with the biological male. It ordered the federation to “cease and desist from all unfair discriminatory practices” related to orientation and gender identity.
USA Powerlifting has two weeks to reverse its policy against having athletes compete in gender classifications other than their birth gender.
Cooper said “after years of experiencing discrimination from USA Powerlifting, and the backlash that has occurred due to that,” he has “mixed feelings” about the sport. He added that the court victory, however, is a chance to “move forward.”
The organization released a statement saying that its goal is to balance the needs of different competitors, including “cis- and transgender women.” It acknowledged the difficulty in that “capacities differ significantly in purely strength sports.”
Cooper reportedly “transitioned” in 2014 and said he now takes an anti-androgen drug to decrease the natural level of testosterone in his body. He justified his attempt to compete with women by noting that taking the drug would qualify him to compete in the Olympics as a female.
District Court Judge Patrick Diamond ruled that “by denying Cooper the right to participate in the female category, the category consistent with her self-identification, USAPL denied her the full and equal enjoyment of the services, support, and facilities” regularly offered to its members.
Diamond asserted that transgender athletes have competitive disadvantages, including a heightened risk of depression and suicide and a “lack of access to coaching and practice facilities.”
Far-left representative Ilhan Omar took up Cooper’s cause in 2019. The “Squad” member sent a letter to then-Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison demanding an investigation into USA Powerlifting.
She called their actions a case of “discrimination” and said banning biological males from competing in strength sports with females is “unscientific.”