Half of the United States governors signed a letter on Friday demanding the Biden administration withdraw or delay its new Title IX proposal intended to force schools to permit male athletes to compete in female divisions.
The Department of Education’s (DOE) proposal would bar schools that receive federal funds from enforcing a “categorical” ban on transgender athletes competing on teams that match their gender identity. The twenty-five governors wrote to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona to ask that the proposal be stalled or withdrawn until the Supreme Court “can address the questions raised in several pending cases that are challenging” the proposal. (RELATED: Trans, Nonbinary Legislators Send Letter Criticizing Biden Title IX Proposal On Athletics)
Title IX prohibits federally funded schools from discriminating against people based on their sex, according to the DOE website.
The governors represent Mississippi, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming, according to the letter. They allege that the proposal would bar states from enforcing legislation passed to safeguard women’s and girl’s sports by requiring athletic teams to be separated based on the athletes’ sex, according to the letter.
“Indeed, under threat of denying essential school funding, the Department’s proposed regulation would attempt to coerce compliance with an uncertain, fluid, and completely subjective standard that is based on a highly politicized gender ideology,” the letter reads. “Most troubling, the proposed regulation would turn the purpose of Title IX on its head and threaten the many achievements of women in athletics.”
The proposed rule would allow some exceptions that allow schools to restrict transgender participation on athletic teams that do not match their biological sex to ensure fairness and prevent injury depending on the level of competition, sport and age of the athletes.
The Biden administration’s guidance on athletics comes on the heels of its plan to expand Title IX to protect transgender students by prohibiting discrimination due to “gender identity,” according to a June 2022 press release. The governors argued in the letter that the guidance does not have Congressional authority and that the “plain language” used in Title IX “not allow the sweeping rewrites” that the administration is working on.
“Undeterred by plain English, the Department invents new categories solely based on a student’s ‘gender identity’—a term not used in Title IX. This overreaching interpretation exceeds the Department’s Congressionally granted authority,” the letter reads. “Not only does the Department lack the authority to unilaterally re-write Title IX, such a regulation would disrupt states and schools and eviscerate the lived experience and achievements of generations of courageous women.”
The DOE did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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