HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — A federal appeals court dismissed a challenge to the state’s policy – allowing transgender girls to compete in girls’ high school sports Friday.

Four female track athletes filed a lawsuit, claiming it was unfair that transgender females could participate in girls’ sports.

News 8 spoke with attorneys on both sides of the ruling.

The female track athletes who filed the lawsuit were not available for comment, but their attorney at Alliance Defending Freedom spoke for them and said, “the decision sets back women’s rights 50 years.”

While the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) attorney said the decision is “a step in the right direction against discrimination.”

Transgender athletes score legal victory in Connecticut case

“This is a well-deserved victory, a total victory for our clients Andrea and Terry,” American Civil Liberties Union Attorney, Elana Bildner said.

In 2020, the track athletes who filed the lawsuit spoke out at a news conference, after repeatedly finishing behind two transgender athletes, who won a combined 15 girls’ state indoor or outdoor championship races since 2017.

“In Connecticut you allowed biological males to come in to dominate women’s sports, so we are disappointed with the outcome and we are currently evaluating our next steps,” Attorney Kiefer said.

The attorney for ACLU said they have not yet spoken to the transgender athletes, one of them was out of the country.

“Connecticut does not have to be forced to discriminate against students, which is what the plaintiffs in this lawsuit want to do, they wanted to force the state of Connecticut to discriminate against trans kids,” ACLU Attorney Bildner said.

The CIAC said their policy that athletes can participate in any sport as the gender that they identify with, is meant to include everyone.

In reaction to the ruling, CIAC released the following statement:

“The CIAC was confident in its inclusionary policies from the onset of this case. The CIAC is pleased with the decision of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold the lower court’s dismissal.”

It is unclear if there will be an appeal in this case.