Representing 393,823 members, the groups allege that “the sweeping changes to Title IX that you are reportedly set to announce would erode the very rights that protect all students – regardless of sex – and ensure a safe and equitable learning environment.”
Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments outlaws discrimination on the basis of sex in education, stipulating that “no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
However, as part of its LGBTQ policy push, the Biden administration has sought to expand the definition to also prohibit discrimination on the basis of “gender identity.”
“Title IX has always explicitly permitted schools to separate males and females in certain contexts, such as athletic competition, bathrooms, locker rooms, and living quarters,” the letter reads. “The revisions to Title IX the Department is set to announce would discard the concept of male and female enshrined in Title IX itself, through expanding Title IX’s protections to include ‘gender identity.’ Who is now male and female? Anyone can be anything they want – an individual may simply ‘identify’ as one, or none, or one of an ever-expanding menu of ‘gender identities’ promoted by activists.”
In the early months of Joe Biden’s presidency, the Department of Education (DOE) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued federal guidance holding that Title IX’s ban on sex discrimination also prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. In June, Cardona announced that the DOE would expand the definition of the federal civil-rights statute banning sex discrimination in federally funded education programs to encompass gender identity.
The coalition’s letter comes amid a furious debate about transgender participation in girls’ sports, brought to the fore again recently by University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas, a biological male who outperformed multiple female competitors and former Olympians at the recent NCAA championship tournament.
Rewriting Title IX to include gender identity will create unfair disadvantages and well as potential dangers for students, especially women, the groups claim.
“Under the Department’s new rules, separating athletic teams and intimate facilities based on biological sex would be illegal. If a high school boy declares that he ‘identifies’ as a girl, the school would be required to allow him to walk into the girls’ locker room while girls are changing, or enter the girls’ bathroom to use the facilities alongside his female peers,” it adds.
“Any attempt to prevent this would be discriminatory conduct prohibited by Title IX. With regard to sports, the Department’s new ‘gender identity’ rule would rob girls and women of equal athletic opportunities by requiring schools to allow biological boys and men to compete in women’s athletics.”