Transgender Athlete Wins Case: USA Powerlifting Must Allow Transgender Athletes to Compete in Women’s Division

JayCee Cooper


JayCee Cooper filed a complaint in 2019 with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights alleging a violation of the state’s Human Rights Act after being barred from competing in female competitions. In 2021, in state court, Cooper filed a lawsuit against USA Powerlifting.

Cooper’s involvement in athletics included becoming a junior national champion in curling and a collegiate rower competing as a man.

JayCee Cooper


The court has now ruled in Cooper’s favor. Biological men can now compete against women in the sport.

According to Fox News, “The organization must revise its policy related to those issues within two weeks, meaning trans athletes will be able to compete in the women’s category after previously being banned.”

Cooper shared with KARE11, “I feel mostly relief. I think we needed a win here, and it feels good to get that.”

JayCee Cooper


According to the ruling,“Just as it does not matter that one may be able to purchase a beer at a saloon other than one that refuses service to people of color, it does not matter that Cooper could compete somewhere else or as someone else.”

“The harm is in making a person pretend to be something different, the implicit message being that who they are is less than. That is the very essence of separation and segregation, and it is what the MHRA prohibits.”

Larry Maile, USA Powerlifting president, denounced the decision.

“Our position has been aimed at balancing the needs of cis- and transgender women, whose capacities differ significantly in purely strength sports,” Maile said in a statement.

“We have received a summary judgment decision from the Court finding us liable for discrimination. We respectfully disagree with the Court’s conclusions. We are considering all of our options, including appeal.”




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