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Kentucky U.S. judge blocks Biden's Title IX rules, saying 'sex' and 'gender identity' are not the same thing – Kentucky Lantern

Kentucky U.S. judge blocks Biden's Title IX rules, saying 'sex' and 'gender identity' are not the same thing – Kentucky Lantern
Kentucky U.S. judge blocks Biden's Title IX rules, saying 'sex' and 'gender identity' are not the same thing – Kentucky Lantern

 


A federal judge blocked new Title IX rules, including those aimed at protecting LGBTQ+ students from discrimination in elementary and secondary schools, and sided with Republican attorneys general in several states, including Kentucky.

Chief Judge Danny Reeves of the U.S. District Court in Eastern Kentucky on Monday ruled in favor of Republican Attorney General Russell Coleman and his counterparts in five other states. The decision prevents the U.S. Department of Education from implementing, promulgating, enforcing, or taking action to enforce the final rule on nondiscrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs or activities benefiting from federal financial aid, which was to take effect on August 1.

Kentucky Attorney General Russell Coleman (Kentucky Lantern photo by Mathew Mueller)

Coleman and the GOP attorneys general filed the lawsuit in April. At the time, they claimed that the Department for Education was using its regulatory power to convert a law designed to equalize opportunities for both sexes into a much broader regime that it itself had crafted with the new regulations of Title IX.

Reeves limited the injunction to the plaintiff states of Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Virginia and West Virginia.

The Biden administration introduced the rules to build on the legacy of Title IX by making clear that all of our nation's students can access safe, caring, rights-respecting schools, the U.S. Secretary of Education said , Miguel Cardona, in a press release. The rules also would have reversed changes made by the Trump administration that narrowly defined sexual harassment and ordered schools to hold live hearings, allowing those accused of sexual harassment or assault to cross-examine their accusers.

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona (Photo by Joshua Roberts/Getty Images)

In their complaint, the state attorneys general said that under the Biden rule, men who identify as women will, among other things, have the right to compete in programs and activities that Congress has put available to women so that they can fairly and fully pursue their studies and activities. athletic excellence upends Title IX protections. And anyone who expresses disagreement with this new status quo faces Title IX disciplinary action for prohibited harassment.

Established in 1972, Title IX was created to prevent discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance, according to the Department of Education.

Reeves wrote in his opinion that the Department of Education seeks to derail a deeply entrenched law created by the implementation of Title IX.

Essentially, the Department would overturn Title IX by redefining sex to include gender identity. But sex and gender identity do not mean the same thing, he writes. The Department's interpretation is inconsistent with the plain language of Title IX and therefore exceeds its authority to promulgate regulations under that law.

In a news release, Coleman's office said Monday that schools that fail to comply with the new rules could risk losing their federal funding. Citing the Department of Education, the office said Kentucky's public and private schools received a total of $1.1 billion in federal funding last year.

“As a parent and attorney general, I have been part of this effort to protect our women and girls from harm. Today's decision recognizes more than 50 years of educational opportunities created by Title IX for students and athletes, Coleman said in the press release. We are grateful for the courts' decision and will continue to fight the Biden administration's attempts to remove protections to advance its policy agenda.

A ministry spokesperson said it was reviewing the decision.

“Title IX ensures that no one experiences sex discrimination in a federally funded educational environment,” the spokesperson added. “The Department developed the final Title IX regulations following a rigorous process to implement the statutory guarantee of Title IX. The Department stands by the final Title IX regulations issued in April 2024, and we will continue to fight for every student.

Kentucky politicians respond

Reeves wrote in his opinion that the states represented in the lawsuit argued that Title IX rules would “invalidate many states and schools' gender-segregated sports policies.” The Kentucky General Assembly passed such a law in 2022 to require school athletes to play on teams associated with their biological sex.

One of the bill's sponsors, Sen. Robby Mills, R-Henderson, applauded the opinion in a statement, calling it or curbing federal government overreach and capriciousness, in this case, by the U.S. Department of President Biden's Education Council. He viewed the opinion as further affirmation of the need for legislation championed by Republican supermajorities in the Kentucky General Assembly and championed by our Republican Attorney General.

Another lawmaker who supported similar legislation, Rep. Ryan Dotson, R-Winchester, said the decision was one that would preserve the integrity of a federal policy created more than half a century ago to ensure that biological females can compete on equal terms.

Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear previously said he hoped Coleman would avoid instilling fear in the trial. In an interview with the Lantern on Monday, Beshear said he had not read the opinion but believed the lawsuit would be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

I understand that there are different opinions, especially when it comes to sports and fairness and the rest, but I hope that we talk about it in a way that doesn't ostracize anyone, doesn't demonize anyone and doesn't talk. what rules should be enforced in sports without attacking anyone, the governor told the Lantern.

Read U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves' ruling TITLEIX EDKY Injunction

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