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Throwing women under the bus

The Biden administration’s Title IX rule change will open up women’s spaces to men

Selina Soule, a Connecticut track and field athlete who sued the state over a policy that forced her to compete against men, talks to reporters at the Capitol on April 20, 2023. Associated Press/Photo by J. Scott Applewhite

Throwing women under the bus
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They did not heed the glaring warning signs. They turned a deaf ear to the parents and their daughters pleading for privacy and safety in public schools—and of teachers and administrators standing for their right to speak the truth. They ignored the heartbreaking stories of female athletes who were forced to change in locker rooms with men and who lost medals to males competing on their own turf.

Instead, the Biden administration listened to a few far-left activists and upended federal law. On April 19, the administration officially published a rule that strips Title IX of its original meaning, opening the floodgates for males to enter women’s spaces that have been protected for more than 50 years. This move threatens the future of women’s privacy, safety, and fair competition. It’s therefore no wonder that numerous lawsuits have been filed to challenge the new rule since then.

Title IX is the landmark education law that brought equal opportunities to women and girls. Enacted in 1972, it required schools receiving federal money to provide girls equal access to a wide range of educational and athletic opportunities. And it did so using the word “sex,” which both then and now had a specific meaning: the male-female binary that is based on biology. That straightforward definition of “sex” has served us well. It’s allowed women to fulfill their academic potential, win scholarships, and compete in athletics in ways that were once reserved for men.

With this new rule, the administration has tossed that definition and said that it includes “gender identity” for the purposes of Title IX. Unlike sex, gender identity refers to one’s internal, subjective sense of belonging to a particular sex. It was barely known in 1972 and is precisely not the meaning of “sex” in Title IX. Yet the administration now insists that the law means something other than what its authors clearly meant.

With this lawless move, the administration is forcing a false ideology on virtually every school and college that takes federal funding. Schools will now have to disregard biology in favor of a person’s subjective feelings. Boys who believe they are girls will have a golden ticket from the Biden administration to enter a girls’ bathroom, locker room, or shower.

This is a slap in the face to every woman and girl in America.

As for free speech, this rule is an affront to the First Amendment.

The administration is already hedging by insisting this mandate will not affect women’s sports. But no one should believe this. The administration has already said in a current lawsuit that Title IX requires states to allow boys who identify as girls to compete in girls’ sports. They even admit that a new rule on women’s sports is coming, which likely means after the election. Women’s sports are absolutely in the crosshairs.

As for free speech, this rule is an affront to the First Amendment. It forces students, teachers, and administrators to go along with the lies of gender ideology that are causing so much harm and destruction to students today. Even “misgendering” a student could be considered discrimination under this rule and possibly lead to investigations, punishment, or firing. This is a flagrant attack on the ability to speak freely under the First Amendment.

My team at Alliance Defending Freedom has spent months preparing for this rule and helping states shore up protections for women and girls. We sued the administration when this rule was published, and we have filed several additional lawsuits with other plaintiffs since then.

In one case, we represent a Louisiana school district serving over 20,000 students. Like most Americans, these school district officials believe girls and boys should have separate sports teams, showers, changing facilities, restrooms, and overnight accommodations. They believe a girl should never have to compete in sports with, shower next to, or undress in front of a boy. And they see through the junk science that is pushing record numbers of children toward transition, recognizing that the vast majority of kids will grow out of gender dysphoria before adulthood if they just receive the care and counseling they need to live at peace with their bodies.

Government has a duty to protect the privacy and safety of its citizens. The Biden administration is rejecting biological reality, and in doing so, it is courting a national backlash. It is throwing women and girls under the bus while in the same breath claiming to be “pro-woman.” We see through it.

It’s often said that the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. Thankfully, good Americans are standing up in droves to protect our daughters. This will be one of the most high-stakes legal battles of this administration, and we shouldn’t rest until this threat to women and girls is roundly defeated.

Kristen Waggoner

Kristen Waggoner is CEO, president, and general counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom.


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