Department of Education (ED) Secretary Miguel Cardona refused to answer a question on whether it is fair for biological men to compete against women in athletics, according to a Tuesday House Committee on Appropriations hearing.
On April 6, the ED released additional proposed changes to Title IX to prohibit public K-12 schools and colleges from adopting a “one-size-fits-all-policy” that prevents students from joining sports teams on the basis of gender identity. Cardona dodged a question from U.S. Republican Alabama Rep. Robert Aderholt on the fairness of this proposal, instead addressing how the ED has expanded to provide students equal access, free of discrimination. (RELATED: Florida Tells Its Schools To Ignore Biden’s ‘Gender Identity’ Rules)
“Under these proposed rules, a mediocre male athlete can simply identify as a female and go on to dominate women’s sports,” Aderholt said, “Simply put, I would just have to ask you to think about it. Do you think this is fair to biological girls?”
“Our focus at the Department of Education is to provide equal access, free from discrimination, for students,” Cardona responded. “As we know, Title IX has helped, over the last 50 years, provide opportunities for girls and we’re proud of the work that we’re doing to make sure that, for example, the training facilities for girls have the same attention and funding as it does for boys. So, we are proud of the Title IX proposal. And the current proposal you are speaking about is just that, it’s a proposal and we have a window open for comments that we’re going to take very seriously.”
In June 2022, the ED proposed changes to expand protections under Title IX, a landmark civil rights law intended to curb sex-based discrimination in federally-funded education, to include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.” Under the rule change every sex-separated space, program, building, bathroom and locker room would be separated on the basis of gender identity rather than biological sex.
Across the country, red state lawmakers are moving to separate sports on the basis of biological sex after Lia Thomas, a biological man, competed in the Ivy League championship and the women’s 500-yard freestyle in February 2022. Before transitioning genders, Thomas previously competed on the University of Pennsylvania men’s swim team.
In March, Republican Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville introduced bill to the U.S. Senate to require all sports nationwide be divided on the basis of biological sex rather than gender identity. On April 5, the Kansas legislature overrode its Democratic governor’s veto, enacting a bill that requires all K-12 public school sports and colleges be divided on the basis of biological sex.
“I’m very concerned about the proposed Title IX regulations that I believe will do grave harm to the safety and success of young women athletes and girls across the country,” Aderholt said at the hearing.
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