Press Release

Minnesota’s ‘girls only’ school dance team rule: unfair, unjust, unconstitutional

Maplewood, Minnesota; July 25, 2018: When 16-year-old Dmitri Moua wanted to join the competitive dance team at Roseville Area High School in Roseville, Minnesota, he was told he could not, because he is a boy.

Dmitri’s school is a part of the Minnesota State High School League—whose bylaws declare competitive dance a “girls only” sport. Dmitri can only participate as team manager.

“I’m really competitive, and I love teamwork, winning and losing, and learning from mistakes,” Dmitri says. “And I can’t do that if I’m just sitting on the sidelines.”

“It’s really hurtful to see Dmitri like this,” says his mother, Bao Xiong. “I would never imagine this happening, because I think we’ve come so far that we shouldn’t have to fight for gender equality in any sport, or any other school activity.”

Dmitri refuses to sit on the sidelines any longer, and has filed a federal lawsuit. Represented by Pacific Legal Foundation, the lawsuit argues a girls only dance team policy is sex discrimination and violates the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause. The league’s inability to justify its intentional, sex-based discrimination also violates Title IX.

“Banning boys from a school dance team is unfair, unjust, and unconstitutional,” said PLF Attorney Caleb Trotter. “Minnesota’s school sports league cannot discriminate against boys based on nothing more than an outdated stereotype that dancing is for girls only. We think the court will agree and hold the government agents responsible for this rule accountable.”

The case is D.M. and Z.G. v. Minnesota State High School League. More information can be found at pacificlegal.org/dance.

About Pacific Legal Foundation
Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) is the nation’s leading public interest legal organization devoted to preserving individual rights and economic freedom. Since 1973, donor-supported PLF has successfully litigated for limited government, private property rights, and free enterprise in the nation’s highest courts.

Case Attorneys

Caleb R. Trotter

Attorney

Caleb Trotter joined Pacific Legal Foundation in September 2015. He primarily litigates cases involving economic liberty, the First Amendment, school choice, and the administrative state. After growing up in Oklahoma, … ›

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Joshua P. Thompson

Senior Attorney

Joshua Thompson joined Pacific Legal Foundation in August 2007. He primarily litigates cases involving equality under the law, economic liberty, school choice, and coastal land rights. Joshua was raised in … ›

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Anastasia P. Boden

Attorney

Anastasia Boden is an attorney in PLF’s Economic Liberty Project, where she challenges anti-competitive licensing laws and laws that restrict freedom of speech. Anastasia’s practice largely consists of representing entrepreneurs … ›

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Timothy R. Snowball

Attorney

A fierce believer that “[o]ne’s right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted … ›

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Case Commentary

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By James S. Burling

Weekly litigation update — September 15, 2018

Preliminary injunction briefing completed in Minnesota dance case This week we finished briefing our motion for a preliminary injunction in D.M. v. Minnesota State High School League. In this case, … ›

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By Caleb R. Trotter

Preliminary injunction sought in Minnesota dance case

Dmitri Moua and Zachary Greenwald are Minnesota high school juniors who love to dance. But due to a state-sanctioned rule in Minnesota, boys are prohibited from trying out for high school … ›

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