MAPLEWOOD, Minn. (WCCO) — A teenager has filed a federal lawsuit alleging Minnesota’s “girls only” competitive dance team rule is unconstitutional.

Dmitri Moua, 16, first encountered the Minnesota State High School League rule when he wanted to join Roseville High School’s dance team. The league’s bylaws declare competitive dance team a “girls only” sport, in which boys can only participate as a team manager.

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

Represented by Pacific Legal Foundation, Moua’s lawsuit argues the rule discriminates based on sex and violates the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause and Title IX.

Moua’s mother, Bao Xiong, says it’s hurtful to watch her son fight the rule.

“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,” Xiong said.

Moua’s attorney, Caleb Trotter, is confident the court will side with them.

“We think the court will agree and hold the government agents responsible for this rule accountable,” Trotter said.

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