Judge blocks Biden admin. from adding gender identity to Title IX: 'Only two sexes'

Athletes compete in the 5,000-meter final during the Oregon Relays at Hayward Field on April 23, 2021 in Eugene, Oregon.
Athletes compete in the 5,000-meter final during the Oregon Relays at Hayward Field on April 23, 2021 in Eugene, Oregon. | Getty Images/Steph Chambers

A federal judge in Kansas temporarily blocked the U.S. Department of Education's Title IX rule change in several states that would've expanded the education civil rights law's definition of sex discrimination to include gender identity and sexual orientation. 

U.S. District Judge John Broomes issued a ruling Tuesday in response to a lawsuit brought by Southeastern Legal Foundation and Mountain States Legal Foundation on behalf of their clients, Moms for Liberty and Young America's Foundation. The ruling applies to Alaska, Kansas, Utah, Wyoming and a middle school in Stillwater, Oklahoma. 

The Trump-appointed judge reasoned that Title IX's definition of the word "sex" clearly means the "traditional concept of biological sex in which there are only two sexes, male and female." 

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Earlier this year, the Department of Education announced new Title IX regulations, slated to go into effect in August. The expansion of the definition of "sex" to include gender identity and sexual orientation prompted several states to sue, fearing the new rule could deprive women of equal opportunities in sports and privacy in bathrooms. 

Broomes wrote that "legislative history" surrounding the 1972 civil rights law makes it clear that "sex" meant biological sex, not gender identity and sexual orientation. He added that Title IX prohibits discrimination that awards preferential treatment to one sex over the other but doesn't prohibit differential treatment in the form of "sex separation" or "sex-specific benefits," so long as one gender is not treated as inferior to the other. 

"The Final Rule would, among other things, require schools to subordinate the fears, concerns, and privacy interests of biological women to the desires of transgender biological men to shower, dress, and share restroom facilities with their female peers," Broomes wrote. "Moreover, to expand sex discrimination to encompass 'self-professed and potentially ever-changing gender identity is inconsistent with Title IX's sex-separation dictates.'"

Tiffany Justice and Tina Descovich, co-founders of the conservative parental rights group Moms for Liberty, celebrated the ruling, declaring, "Gender ideology does not belong in public schools and we are glad the courts made the correct call to support parental rights."

"We will always stand up for the rights of parents and the protection of children. All parents must have their voices heard and their right to raise their own children is part of the very fabric of a free America," the co-founders added. "The federal government has no right to claim our children as their own or to push parents out of the classroom."

Broomes is not the only federal judge who has blocked the Biden administration's Title IX rule change. U.S. District Judge Danny C. Reeves in Kentucky, a George W. Bush appointee, temporarily halted the new regulation in a separate ruling last month. 

Reeves' ruling temporarily blocked the Title IX rule change in Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. The decision came about not long after another federal judge in Louisiana, U.S. District Judge Terry A. Doughty, a Trump appointee, temporarily blocked the rule from taking effect in Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi and Montana.

In his ruling, Reeves argued that Title IX's purpose was to "level the playing field" between men and women in education. The federal judge asserted that the Department of Education's rule change was an attempt to "derail deeply rooted law."

"At bottom, the department would turn Title IX on its head by redefining 'sex' to include 'gender identity,'" he said. "But 'sex' and 'gender identity' do not mean the same thing. The department's interpretation conflicts with the plain language of Title IX and therefore exceeds its authority to promulgate regulations under that statute."

Samantha Kamman is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: Follow her on Twitter: @Samantha_Kamman

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