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 “Minnesota’s school sports league cannot discriminate against boys based on nothing more than an outdated stereotype that dancing is for girls only.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.
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Pacific Legal Foundation is a national nonprofit legal organization that defends Americans threatened by government overreach and abuse. Since our founding in 1973, we challenge the government when it violates individual liberty and constitutional rights. With active cases in 39 states plus Washington, D.C., PLF represents clients in state and federal courts, with 12 victories out of 14 cases heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.