PLF asks 8th Circuit to stop Minnesota from discriminating against boy dancers

October 24, 2018 | By CALEB TROTTER

Last month, we asked a federal judge in Minnesota to preliminarily enjoin the Minnesota State High School League from prohibiting two high school boys from trying out for their high school dance teams because they are boys. Unfortunately, the judge rejected our request. As a result, we immediately appealed the ruling to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, and this week we filed our opening brief in the case.

As a reminder, Minnesota is one of the few states in the country that prohibits boys from participating in high school competitive dance. This discriminatory policy violates Title IX and the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause protections against sex discrimination. To date, the League has failed to produce any evidence that it has an important interest in discriminating against boys in dance, nor has it produced any evidence that discriminating against boys substantially furthers any important interest. Instead, the evidence actually shows that allowing boys to participate in dance will not prevent the League from pursuing interests in creating opportunities for girls or addressing past discrimination against girls, for example. Thus, we are hopeful that the 8th Circuit will conduct a serious examination of the evidence (or lack thereof) and complete a thorough analysis as required under the law. Upon conducting such an analysis, we are hopeful that PLF clients Dmitri and Zachary will be dancing soon.