Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall filed an amicus brief Thursday in support of Indiana’s law prohibiting boys from playing on girls’ sports teams. Attorneys general from 18 other states joined in the brief.

Indiana’s law dismisses the idea that sex is based on “gender identity” rather than biology. The science behind the law has led to it being challenged in federal district court.

Marshall's brief states that Indiana has fallen victim to a proliferating litigation strategy targeting the definition of sex.

“This definition has long served as the basis for state and federal laws protecting the rights of those individuals, in particular female students,” Marshall said. “Yet, this biologically-based, time-tested—and eminently legal—view of sex is now being upended by those who seek to undermine this standard through gender ideology. But defining sex based on sex protects the rights of girls to fair competition in sports, and I am proud to take the side of Indiana in opposing this attack on common sense.”

The discussion of men playing in women’s sports, particularly athletes identifying as transgender, has been ongoing across the nation as policymakers weigh the science against emotional impact. Many female athletes have felt sidelined by male competitors who were born with an advantage thanks to body build and testosterone.

A lawsuit was filed in May challenging Indiana's law after a 10-year-old child was unable to rejoin the girls’ softball team. Attorneys said the child was born a male but identified as a female and even had his birth certificate changed to female.

In June, U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Indiana Jane Magnus-Stinson issued a preliminary injunction ordering the Indianapolis school district to allow the child to play on the softball team.

“This case is emblematic of an increasingly popular litigation strategy in which plaintiffs challenge States’ use of the traditional, biological definition of sex by arguing that the definition itself —not the attendant sex segregation—violates federal law,” Marshall explained. “As is typical in this recent wave of litigation, here a State has enacted a law that adheres to the objective definition of sex that has endured for millennia, and the plaintiff advocates for something quite different: a definition of sex based on individuals’ subjective identities.”

Other attorneys general who joined in on the September 13 amicus brief were from Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.

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