- More than two dozen organizations signed a letter to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona demanding that the department abandon plans to revise Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 to include transgender students.
- The organizations say that revising Title IX, which prohibits sex-based discrimination, would negatively impact female athletes.
- “We strongly urge you to abandon and reject any proposed regulatory scheme that would require educational institutions to permit biologically male students to identify as females to compete against biologically female students in women’s athletic programs and to use their locker rooms, restrooms, and other intimate facilities,” the letter reads.
A coalition of 28 organizations sent a public letter to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona on Tuesday demanding the Department of Education (DOE) abandon its plan to protect transgender students under federal law by revising a regulation intended to prohibit sex-based discrimination, according to a copy of the letter.
Defense of Freedom Institute (DFI), a conservative nonprofit group focused on education, workforce, labor and employment issues, organized the letter which was signed by multiple public policy organizations, parents, athletes, lawyers and civil rights groups to ask the DOE to stop its plan to rework the language of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 to include “gender identity,” the letter reads. The groups allege that extending federal protection to transgender students would walk back rights for female athletes by permitting male athletes to compete as women and would be an illegal assertion of power. (RELATED: Biden Admin’s Title IX Rule May Force Schools To Allow Biological Men In Women’s Sports And Facilities)
“Saving women’s sports for women is more than just common sense; it’s the law. DFI is proud to lead 28 groups in standing up for the rights of female student athletes to compete on a level playing field,” Bob Eitel, president and co-founder of DFI, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Biden’s attempt to redefine the legal meaning of ‘sex’ to ‘gender identity’ has not gone unnoticed. In fact, his proposed rule garnered more than 240,000 comments, many of which called out this administration for forcing its radical agenda on students.”
The DOE’s proposed regulation, which was announced June 2022, seeks to expand the scope of sex-based discrimination to include gender identity, the proposal reads. The proposal was filed with the Federal Register for public comments in July 2022 and is expected to be unveiled in May 2023, according to USA Today.
Kimberly Hermann, Southeastern Legal Foundation (SLF) general counsel, told the DCNF that “it is impossible to know when the proposed changes to Title IX will be finalized because” every public comment has to be reviewed.
SLF is one of the signees of the letter.
“The Department of Education is required to review every one of them before issuing its final changes,” she explained.
The DOE said it would “engage in a separate rulemaking to address Title IX’s application to athletics,” but the coalition maintains in its letter that the proposal will harm female athletes. The groups cite biological differences that give male athletes an advantage over their female counterparts and specifically name Lia Thomas, a male swimmer who competed as a woman on the University of Pennsylvania team and won an NCAA national title during the 2021-2022 academic year, as an example.
“The coalition sent this letter to urge the Biden administration to stop its attack on women’s sports and to stop its illegal efforts to redefine sex,” Hermann told the DCNF. “SLF is hopeful that the Department of Education will take the coalition’s letter seriously and stop its assault on women and women’s sports.”
Forcing schools to permit males to compete against females in women’s and girls’ athletic programs is unfair and simply wrong. DFI is proud to lead a coalition opposing Biden’s proposed changes to #TitleIX. Read the coalition’s letter here: https://t.co/nR7Yc0gbyx pic.twitter.com/Axx9UUtRjb
— Defense of Freedom Institute (@DFIPolicy) February 21, 2023
The groups also allege the administration does not have the authority to expand Title IX to transgender students since the Supreme Court ruled in June 2022 during West Virginia v. EPA that “a federal agency may not implement sweeping expansions of regulatory authority, relying on novel interpretations of long-extant statutes, without clear congressional authorization,” the press release reads.
“The Department must enforce the protections that Title IX provides to women’s athletic programs at educational institutions in a manner that accords with clear congressional authority, the Department’s longstanding interpretation of Title IX, and basic notions of fair play in athletic competitions,” the letter reads. “Schools, colleges, and universities that receive federal funding should not be required to undermine Title IX’s protections, which have, for over 50 years, provided equality of opportunity in athletics.”
A DOE spokesperson told the DCNF that it “look[s] forward to responding directly to the authors of the letter.”
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