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Do the ends justify the means?

Christiana Holcomb | Biden administration uses illegal means to punish belief in the gender binary


Terry Miller, a boy who identifies as a girl, wins a 55-meter sprint against girls in Connecticut in 2019. Associated Press Photo by Pat Eaton-Robb (File)

Do the ends justify the means?
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Do the ends justify the means? The Biden administration seems to think so. The U.S. Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, under orders from President Biden, have been working to enact radical social change and are deliberately bypassing the legislative process to make it happen. They claim to be fighting discrimination, but the administrators’ means—a regulatory power grab—and their end—policies at odds with reality—are both deeply flawed.

Earlier this year, the Department of Education released a guidance document redefining “sex” to include “gender identity” in Title IX, a federal law protecting equal opportunities for women in education and sports. Though the department claimed it was following the U.S. Supreme Court’s lead, the guidance document went far beyond interpreting Title IX and essentially rewrote it.

For decades, lawmakers have refused to amend federal law to include gender ideology. But in their zeal to impose a new orthodoxy, bureaucrats grabbed key ideas from the Equality Act—a sweeping bill that Congressional Democrats wish they had the votes to pass in the Senate—and crammed them into a “guidance” document. They are trying to accomplish by administrative fiat what they could not achieve by legislation.

Behind the document’s technical legal jargon are policies that pose serious, practical harms to American citizens and have profound worldview implications. The guidance document forces federally funded schools across the country to open their girls’ sports teams, showers, locker rooms, and even dorm rooms to males who identify as female (and vice versa). That’s radical social engineering courtesy of unelected bureaucrats. No one—including state administrators, public school teachers, or coaches—should be coerced into misrepresenting human nature upon threat of losing substantial funding.

Twenty states, led by Tennessee, are challenging the action in federal court. These states have an obvious interest in upholding their own laws and preventing federal agencies from usurping authority that rightly belongs to Congress, the states, and the people.

But the federal government’s guidance also threatens personal harm to girls across the country. Alliance Defending Freedom is representing the Association of Christian Schools International and three female public-school athletes who are asking to join the states’ lawsuit. On Nov. 3, ADF attorneys argued in federal court that ASCI and three female athletes have their own stake in this fight.

ASCI-affiliated Christian schools hold to a biblical understanding of biological sex and often compete against the public schools that are now subject to the new mandate. The Biden administration requirements place Christian schools at a distinct disadvantage—and present them with a moral dilemma—when they’re forced to compete against public schools that allow boys to compete on their girls’ sports teams and access their girls’ locker rooms.

The danger is most acute for young women who are playing contact sports. That’s why three Arkansas female athletes are standing up for their own safety and the integrity of girls’ sports. Anna Scarborough plays soccer, and sisters Cate and Amelia Ford are multi-sport athletes who currently play basketball. All three are tough, elite, and competitive. They’re grateful that Arkansas has taken legislative action to protect women’s sports. They’ve benefited from the legacy of Title IX—a girls’-only space that helps them be physically healthy, grow in self-confidence, and enjoy the challenge, adrenaline, and rush of satisfaction when they achieve a win.

The Biden administration mandate threatens all that.

Thankfully, these girls don’t have to take this sitting down. We have a legal system that allows them to pursue justice and hold the government accountable. By seeking to join this lawsuit, Anna, Cate, and Amelia aren’t just standing up for themselves. They’re fighting so all girls and women can enjoy a level playing field. No law—or worse still—no regulatory mandate from unelected bureaucrats should erase their “chance to be champions.”

I’m proud to help represent them. By taking the time and suffering the inconvenience of a lawsuit, these brave young women are using the correct legal tools to seek justice, fight for real sex-based equality, and help reestablish in law an accurate understanding of what it means to be female.


Christiana Kiefer

Christiana Kiefer is legal counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom.

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