Media Contact

Janna Farley,

May 7, 2024

Trans youth continue to be used by elected leaders in North Dakota as a political punching bag as Attorney General Drew Wrigley joins five other state attorneys general filing suit against the U.S. Department of Education over updated regulations that make it clear that Title IX covers harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and sex stereotypes.

These new regulations, issued in April, outline schools’ obligations to guarantee that all students – including survivors of sexual harassment, LGBTQ+ students and pregnant and parenting students – have full and equal access to educational opportunities regardless of sex and details that a trans person cannot be prevented from participating in an educational program or activity consistent with their gender identity.

The following statement can be attributed to Cody Schuler, ACLU of North Dakota advocacy manager: 

“This lawsuit is little more than political grandstanding and is just another attempt to erase transgender people from society while stirring up support from their base of anti-trans activists with fear-mongering tactics and discriminatory rhetoric that harm some of the most vulnerable people in our state.

“If our elected leaders really wanted to protect and promote opportunities for girls and women in education and sports, they would be tackling and addressing the real problems, such as severe underfunding, lack of media coverage, sexist ideologies that suggest that women and girls are weak, and pay equity for coaches and players.

“Trans students participate in sports for the same reasons other young people do: to challenge themselves, improve fitness and be part of a team. Transgender youth in North Dakota deserve all of the benefits that come with participating in sports. They also deserve joy, opportunity and protection, not more bullying from our elected officials.”

About the ACLU of North Dakota

The American Civil Liberties Union of North Dakota is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of civil liberties and civil rights. The ACLU of North Dakota is part of a three-state chapter that also includes South Dakota and Wyoming. The team in North Dakota is supported by staff in those states.

The ACLU believes freedoms of press, speech, assembly, and religion, and the rights to due process, equal protection and privacy, are fundamental to a free people.  In addition, the ACLU seeks to advance constitutional protections for groups traditionally denied their rights, including people of color, women, and the LGBTQ+ and Two Spirit communities. The ACLU of North Dakota carries out its work through selective litigation, lobbying at the state and local level, and through public education and awareness of what the Bill of Rights means for the people of North Dakota.