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Kansas sues Biden administration over Title IX revisions

Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach is leading a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Education over its recently announced changes to Title IX. The revisions would forbid discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation in federally funded educational institutions.

Title IX, a law that has been on the books for more than 50 years, referred to “sex” in terms of protecting women’s sports and equal access for women and girls in K-12 and college sports. The Biden adminsitration has unilaterally changed the definition to mean “gender identity.” According to the Heritage Foundation, the new definition destroyes five decades of precedence and “will allow biological males access to females’ bathrooms, locker rooms, sports competitions,” Heritage says K-12 educators around the country are wondering what to do next because this rule would have “major implications for school facilities and athletic teams.”

kobach kansas ix

Kris Kobach

This is the latest multistate lawsuit to challenge President Joe Biden’s reinterpretation of Title IX, which was created in 1972 to protect female students and employees from sex-based discrimination. The updated civil-rights law, effective August 1, will include added protections for LGBTQ+ people and pregnant women in educational settings.

“In the federal statute known as Title IX, male means biological male and female means biological female,” Kobach said. “Biden’s Department of Education has no authority to do what it is attempting to do.”

Alaska, Utah and Wyoming joined Kansas in the latest lawsuit. The other plaintiffs are Moms for Liberty, Young America’s Foundation and a female student-athlete and Female Athletes United, both of which are represented by the conservative Alliance Defending Freedom. At least 20 other Republican states, starting with Texas, have sued the Biden administration since the long-awaited changes were announced last month.

The new rule, according to a fact sheet from the federal department, extends protections to individuals based on sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics in educational institutions and programs that receive federal funding. If schools are found in violation of the law’s revision, they can lose federal funds. Additionally, the revision will roll back a Trump-era policy that required live hearings and cross-examinations, in which students accused of sexual assault could question their accusers. Under the new rule, live hearings will be optional and preclude “unclear or harassing” questions from being asked.

Kobach said Biden’s regulation poses several practical problems on top of the legal violations. It can force women to share restrooms, locker rooms, or overnight accommodations with transgender-identifying men and incentivize pregnant women to seek an abortion, among other problems.

“It’s insanity,” he said. “Biden’s Title IX rule is unconscionable. It’s dangerous to girls and women, and it’s against federal law.”

Critics of the new policy say it has the potential to destroy women’s sports across the country, as biological males who identify as women are allowed to compete in women’s sports. Title IX was instituted to protect women’s sports from male-dominated policies.

“One would think that there would be universal support for these kinds of experiences for girls, but it turns out, that is not the case,” says Mark Guiney with the Heritage Foundation. “The law that enshrined legal protections for women’s sports, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, is currently in danger. This is due to a rising belief on the political left that biological sex does not matter. What determines whether someone is male or female, they say, is subjective. Therefore, biological men can lay claim to all of the spaces set aside for women, including sports.”

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice

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