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Christian school suing officials after being barred from events for forfeiting game against trans player

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), an NPO that protects religious freedom, has filed a lawsuit against Vermont officials on behalf of a school that forfeited a girls basketball game in which they were set to play a biological male.

The Mid Vermont Christian School (MVCS) took a loss against Long Trail High School, who rostered a transgender student, back in February. 

However, the ADF says the school was then barred from future tournaments by the Vermont Principal’s Association (VPA) shortly afterward. The VPA also kicked MVCS out of the association.

The school and three sets of guardians are suing school officials in the state for “denying the Christian school and its students from participating in the state’s tuition program and sports league because of their religious beliefs.”

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The ADF is suing Vermont officials for keeping a Christian school out of the state’s athletic association.

“This civil rights action seeks to protect a Christian school and its students and parents from unconstitutional religious discrimination and hostility,” the complaint, which was obtained by Fox News Digital, says.

The school is being “irreparably harmed by being denied participation,” the complaint says, as it is “currently losing out on playing competitive sports in the state and participating in academic competitions.”

The VPA, the suit adds, is also disallowing the school to participate in other non-athletic events like debates and fairs “all because the School believes biological boys are boys and cannot affirm otherwise.”

The school operates its own athletic program “consistent with its religious beliefs about sexuality and gender.”

Basketball near the net

Close-up of basketball reaching the hoop. (iStock)

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“The State is entitled to its own views, but it is not entitled, nor is it constitutional, to force private, religious schools across the state to follow that orthodoxy as a condition to participating in Vermont’s tuitioning program and the State’s athletic association,” the complaint reads.

Chris Goodwin, who has coached the MVCS girls basketball team for the last decade, says he couldn’t have imagined telling his daughter she was not allowed to play sports because of her religious views.

“No one, including our student athletes, should have opportunities taken away from them because of their religious beliefs,” he said in a statement to Fox News Digital.

“Vermont has repeatedly discriminated against Christian schools and their families for following their religious beliefs,” ADF senior counsel Ryan Tucker said in his own statement. “Put simply, Mid Vermont Christian School believes that boys are boys and girls are girls. They have been punished for this belief. No school or parent should have to change their beliefs to participate in athletics or a state tuitioning program.”

A basketball hoop

A detail of a basketball hoop and net at Climate Pledge Arena on March 22, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

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The Vermont Agency of Education, VPA and Windsor Southeast Supervisory Union all did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

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