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Over 20 Republican-led states are challenging Biden admin’s LGBTQ-inclusive Title IX rule

Author: Trudy Ring

Republican attorneys general in more than 20 states are suing to challenge the Biden administration’s LGBTQ-inclusive rule on the enforcement of Title IX, the section of the Education Amendments of 1972 that bans sex discrimination in federally funded educational programs.

The rule states that discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity violates Title IX. It seeks to assure, among other things, that transgender and nonbinary students can use their chosen pronouns and have access to the restrooms, changing rooms, and other facilities that align with their gender identity. It was issued in April by the U.S. Department of Education and takes effect August 1.

Last week, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, and Idaho filed a joint lawsuit, and Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama followed, plus Texas filed its own suit.

Now they have been joined by Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia, all filing separate suits, while Arkansas, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and South Dakota have brought two more suits, NBC News reports. Some Republican state officials also have said their states shouldn’t comply with the rule.

“The interpretation of the Biden administration is completely inconsistent with the statute and the way it’s been interpreted for decades,” Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin said at a news conference Tuesday with AG Andrew Bailey of Missouri. They have filed a joint suit with Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

Bailey called the rule “President Biden’s attack on the equal rights of women,” adding, “President Biden is perverting the plain text of the statute in favor of a radical transgender ideology. He has no constitutional authority to do so.”

Attorneys General Griffin and Bailey Announce Lawsuitwww.youtube.com

“That rule takes effect August 1, 2024, and it requires States, schools, and universities to ignore biological sex in favor of self-professed ‘gender identity,’” says their suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Missouri. “Indeed, if allowed to take effect, that rule will gut the very athletic opportunities that Title IX was designed to provide; destroy the privacy protections women and girls currently enjoy in restrooms, locker rooms, shower facilities, and overnight accommodations; preempt numerous State laws; silence and threaten with investigation any student, faculty member, or administrator who doesn’t share the Department’s view of sex; and deny federal funding to any school or university that doesn’t adhere to those views.”

At the press conference, Griffin spoke extensively about sports participation, but the new rule doesn’t address that. The Biden administration is working on a separate rule regarding sports; as proposed, it would state that blanket bans on trans student athletes aren’t allowed but would let schools restrict their participation in certain circumstances. LGBTQ+ activists have criticized the proposed rule, saying it could enable discrimination.

A reporter pointed out that the rule being challenged doesn’t deal with sports, but Griffin responded, “I think the athletics is a natural outflow — we’ve already seen it. … You don’t have to look long, you don’t have to look hard, to see that this is already impacting people, and this rule change is a welcome mat for more of that unacceptable behavior.”

Amelia Ford, a high school student athlete in Arkansas who has joined the lawsuit, contended at the press conference that there are many threats to girls and women from an LGBTQ-inclusive interpretation of Title IX. In actuality, LGBTQ+ youth, especially trans youth, often face harassment in schools, and when it comes to sports, there are very few trans student athletes. And Republicans aren’t noted for their support of women’s rights in general, including reproductive rights.

The Department of Education told NBC it would have no comment on pending litigation.

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Original Article on The Advocate
Author: Trudy Ring

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