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More States Block Enactment of New Gender Identity Rule in Schools

An attempt by the Biden Administration to rewrite Title IX rules to include gender identity protections, thereby forcing biological women to share private spaces with gender-confused biological males in schools and colleges receiving federal dollars, has now been blocked by three federal judges across 11 states.

The Department of Education (DOE) announced the dangerous new Title IX Final Rule in April which expands the definition of “sex” and “sex discrimination” to include “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” as protected categories against discrimination.

This redefinition of “sex discrimination,” which goes into effect August 1, 2024, prohibits single-sex restrooms and locker rooms in schools and requires the use of preferred pronouns. It directs federally funded schools to allow gender-confused individuals to use spaces that correspond with their gender identity, join sex-specific organizations, construe “harassment” as a person not using someone’s preferred pronouns, and imposes additional mandates likely to result in substantial monetary costs. Failure to comply with the new regulations could result in the federal government withholding taxpayer dollars from educational institutions.

Not surprisingly, lawsuits promptly followed.

According to Liberty Counsel, last week, a judge in Louisiana granted an injunction to Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, and Idaho while a Texas judge ruled that Texas public schools do not have to implement the rules. The most recent ruling came from a Kentucky judge that protects schools in the states of Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, Virginia, and West Virginia from having to implement the new rules.

U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty in Louisiana stated in his four-state injunction order that the new Title IX Final Rule framework violates free speech, free exercise of religion, the spending clause, and “is arbitrary and capricious.”

“…by allowing biological men who identify as a female into locker rooms, showers, and bathrooms, biological females risk invasion of privacy, embarrassment, and sexual assault,” wrote Judge Doughty. He further noted that the new rules allow a person to gain access to opposite sex spaces through a simple declaration that they have “changed gender identities,” which ultimately “places biological females at risk.”

Judge Doughty noted that the Title IX Final Rule only focuses on students with gender confusion while failing to address the rule’s effect on other students.

“Title IX was intended to prevent biological women from discrimination,” wrote Judge Doughty. “However, the Final Rule may likely cause biological females more discrimination than they had before Title IX was enacted.”

Judge Doughty determined Biden’s interpretation of “sex” would “reverse the entire premise of Title IX.”

“Here, the Final Rule would render meaningless…traditionally one-sex colleges, social fraternities and sororities, voluntary youth organizations, one-sex youth service organizations, beauty pageants, and the exemption that allows educational facilities to maintain separate living facilities,” wrote Judge Doughty. “Allowing this would allow decades of triumphs for women and men alike to go down the drain, and this Court finds that Defendants’ [interpretation of ‘sex’] is meritless.”

Judge Doughty emphasized the “ordinary meaning” of “sex discrimination” at the time of the Title IX law’s enactment “included only biological males or females.”

Ultimately, Judge Doughty’s injunction stops executive branch overreach. The injunction states decisions of “vast economic and political significance,” such as the Title IX changes, are reserved only for Congress under the “Major Questions Doctrine.”

“The Final Rule is not a clarification of existing laws – it is a new law enacted by an administrative agency,” wrote Judge Doughty. “Essentially, [the Final Rule] allows for one political ideology to dominate the educational landscape while either silencing the other or calling the other ‘harassment’ under these standards.”

The government has “no authority to rewrite Title IX and decide major questions as the Final Rule does,” and it causes biological women “immediate irreparable harm,” Judge Doughty concluded.

So far, other officials in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma, and South Carolina are also involved in lawsuits against Title IX or have directed their state departments not to comply with the new federal rules.

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “The radical rewrite of Title IX regulations eradicates privacy, safety, and fairness for biological women and girls. The lawsuits against forcing gender ideology in education have merit and the Biden administration’s obsession with erasing women must stop.”

Where does your state stand on this issue? Click here for information about your state's laws protecting against gender ideology.

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