USA Powerlifting required to allow Transgender Athletes to compete with women

USA Powerlifting has been ordered to permit transgender athletes to participate in the women’s division following transgender lifter JayCee Cooper’s victory in her discrimination lawsuit against the organization.

The federation was instructed to cease all discriminatory practices based on sexual orientation and gender identity and to revoke its previous policy of prohibiting transgender athletes from participating within two weeks, according to the ruling obtained by Fox News.

Cooper filed a complaint with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights in 2019, alleging that the organization violated the state’s Human Rights Act when she was excluded from the women’s division.

In 2021, she filed a lawsuit against USA Powerlifting in state court.

“I was sick of being mistreated, I was tired of the way my community was being treated, and I had had enough,” Cooper told KARE after winning the case.

“Of course, after years of experiencing discrimination from USA Powerlifting and the resulting backlash, I have mixed feelings about the sport, but I believe that this triumph represents a step forward.”

The 46-page ruling states,

“The harm lies in forcing a person to pretend to be someone they are not, implicitly conveying the message that they are inferior. That is the epitome of segregation and separation, which is what the MHRA prohibits.”

Officials from USA Powerlifting stated that they are considering appealing the decision.

“Our stance has been focused on balancing the needs of cis- and transgender women, whose abilities differ significantly in pure strength sports,” stated Lawrence J. Maile, the organization’s president, in a statement to KARE.

“We have received a summary judgment decision from the Court finding us liable for discrimination. We respectfully disagree with the Court’s conclusions. We are exploring all of our options, including appeal.”


The ruling is an important landmark for transgender rights in the United States, as it marks a significant victory for transgender athletes in their efforts to compete in sports based on their gender identity.

Transgender individuals have faced obstacles in participating in sports in the past, with several organizations adopting policies that limit or prohibit their participation.

The situation has improved in recent years, but challenges remain, with many people still seeking to exclude transgender athletes from sports.

In light of the ruling, it is expected that other organizations may be forced to re-evaluate their policies and include transgender athletes in their competitions.