Biden Administration Releases Guidance Preventing ‘Categorical’ Bans on Trans Athletes

By Published on April 7, 2023

The Department of Education (ED) on Thursday released its proposed changes to Title IX, a landmark civil rights law intended to curb sex-based discrimination in federally-funded education, preventing “categorical” bans on transgender athletes within public K-12 schools and colleges.

Under the proposed changes, public K-12 schools and colleges would be prohibited from adopting a “one-size-fits-all-policy” which prohibits students from joining sports teams on the basis of gender identity. Title IX bars schools that receive federal funding from excluding any student on the basis of sex.

“One-size-fits-all policies that categorically ban transgender students from participating in athletics consistent with their gender identity across all sports, age groups, and levels of competition would not satisfy the proposed regulation,” a ED fact sheet stated. “Such bans fail to account for differences among students across grade and education levels. They also fail to account for different levels of competition — including no-cut teams that let all students participate — and different types of sports.”

When developing policies for the creation of sports teams, public schools must take into account “fairness in competition” and the prevention of “sports-related injury,” the proposed policy stated. The ED proposed additional changes to Title IX in June 2022, suggesting that any sex-separated space, program, building, bathroom and locker room be used on the basis of gender identity rather than biological sex.

“The Biden Administration is trying to have their cake and eat it too: inject gender identity into athletics while placing the onus upon school districts to determine whether doing so would be problematic or not,” Nicole Neily, president of Parents Defending Education, a parental rights organization, said in a statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Without a doubt, institutions are going to err on the side of ‘inclusion,’ because they fear the wrath of the Education Department – thus, achieving the Department’s end goal while maintaining plausible deniability that they coerced districts into doing so.”

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Red state lawmakers have been pushing to separate sports on the basis of biological sex after Lia Thomas, a biological man, won an Ivy League championship in the women’s 500-yard freestyle in February 2022. Thomas previously competed on the University of Pennsylvania men’s swim team before transitioning genders.

In Kansas, the legislature overrode its Democratic governor’s veto of a bill that would require K-12 public school sports and colleges be divided on the basis of biological sex. Republican Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville introduced bill to the U.S. Senate which would require that all sports nationwide be divided on the basis of biological sex rather than gender identity.



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