15 states push back against Biden's attempt to strip Title IX protections

The coalition includes Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Texas.

Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen is spearheading the effort.

Fifteen states are banding together to threaten legal action against the Biden administration’s latest move to strip away protections for women’s sports.

“One of Title IX’s crucial purposes, for example, is protecting athletic opportunity for women and girls. Adding gender identity to the definition of ‘sex’ in Title IX would have a detrimental effect on the great strides made over the last 50 years to create equal athletic opportunities,” the Attorneys General wrote in an Apr. 5 letter. 

Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen is spearheading the effort. The seven-page letter was sent to the Department of Education on Apr. 7 on Knudsen’s letterhead to express dismay about the consequences the adapted language would have on women’s sports.

Signees include the Attorneys General of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Texas.

Campus Reform previously reported that the Department of Education intends to expand Title IX’s definition of sex to include “sex stereotypes, sex-related characteristics (including intersex traits), pregnancy or related conditions, sexual orientation, and gender identity.” 

Changes to Title IX are expected to be finalized later this month. The additions would provide legal leverage to counter legislation that has been enacted by states across the country to regulate gender-based sports. 

[Related: South Dakota requires student athletes to compete based on their biological sex]

The Attorneys General acknowledged the expected legal fight ahead.

“We are prepared to take legal action to uphold Title IX’s plain meaning and safeguard the integrity of women’s sports,” the letter states.

Of the supporting states, seven have put laws in the book to secure protections for women’s sports by mandating athletes compete according to their biological sex.

Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, and Texas passed bills in 2021. To date, they have now been joined by Oklahoma, Kentucky, and South Dakota.

Georgia, Louisianna, South Carolina, and Missouri, have introduced bills that are currently awaiting decision in the statehouse.

Both Indiana and Ohio governors have refused to sign state legislation. 

In South Carolina, Democrats proposed over 1,000 amendments in order to delay a final vote to advance the “Save Womens Sports Act” to the Senate. Four boxes of potential considerations were delivered ahead of the debate, which stretched more than eight hours, triggering a three-minute time limit for deliberation per amendment.

Proposed additions to the bill were satirical, including permitting the band to only perform at women’s competitions.

[Related: Concerned Women for America files Title IX complaint against UPenn over Lia Thomas]

The Apr. 5 letter continued to address concerns that revisions to Title IX will erode parental rights. According to the letter, the inclusion of gender identity in the regulation will impose on the right of the parents to educate and raise their children without the influence of government intervention.

“We are also concerned that an interpretation of Title IX that goes beyond sex to include gender identity has and will be used by to improperly intrude into parental decision-making regarding the education and upbringing of their children,” the letter argues. 

“An interpretation of Title IX that supports such radical positions runs contrary to the role of the Department of Education, the text of Title IX, and parents’ constitutional right to decide what is in the best interests of their children,” it states. 

Additionally, the Attorneys General argue that the Department of Education has not offered a legitimate purpose for why Title IX needs to be updated. 

Without a distinct purpose, other than to peddle the administrative agenda, the signatories suggest that additional strain will be put on “schools, parents, teachers, and students across America.”

The letter concludes with a direct call for the Department of Education to cease plans to revise Title IX.

“We strongly urge the Department to cancel its plans to engage in rulemaking on Title IX,” the letter reads. “If the Department elects to continue with the process, we firmly believe you should have no role in it.”

Campus Reform has contacted the Department of Education and each states’ Attorneys General for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.

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