States Challenge Biden Administration’s Title IX Protections for Trans Kids

Fourteen states are taking legal action against the Biden administration over its new Title IX rules aimed at safeguarding LGBTQ+ students from discrimination. These lawsuits, led by right-wing attorneys general, contend that the rules endanger cisgender girls and infringe on states’ rights.

The contentious rules interpret Title IX, which prohibits sex-based discrimination in education, to include protections for LGBTQ+ students. This interpretation aligns with the Supreme Court’s 2020 ruling in Bostock v. Clayton Co., which recognized that discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity is inherently rooted in sex discrimination.

Under the new rules, schools receiving federal funding are prohibited from discriminating against LGBTQ+ students, including policies that disclose students’ LGBTQ+ status to parents or restrict transgender students’ restroom access. The rules also empower students facing discrimination to seek recourse in federal courts.

Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti, a key figure in the legal challenge, invoked Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s views on sex-based distinctions to justify opposition to the rules.

States Challenge Biden Administration's Title IX Protections for Trans Kids

However, the rules merely mandate inclusion of transgender students in gender-appropriate spaces, rather than eliminating single-gender facilities altogether.

Critics, including Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, argue that the rules undermine fairness in athletics and infringe on students’ rights.

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Conservative parent organizations have also raised concerns, accusing the administration of promoting “gender identity theories” and prioritizing the interests of a minority over those of cisgender students.

The Biden administration, while celebrating the rules as a step towards LGBTQ+ inclusion, faces significant opposition from conservative states and organizations. However, LGBTQ+ advocacy groups view the rules as a positive development, though they emphasize the need for broader protections.

As legal battles unfold, the fate of these Title IX rules and the rights of LGBTQ+ students hangs in the balance. While the administration remains committed to advancing LGBTQ+ rights, the outcome of these lawsuits will undoubtedly shape the landscape of education and equality for years to come.

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