Students Lose Their Lunch over Biden’s LGBT Extremism
What kind of person would let needy kids go hungry over a spat about gender identity? Apparently, President Joe Biden. In one of his most ruthless power plays yet, Biden has decided to take away kids’ lunches until every school opens its bathrooms, locker rooms, and sports teams to transgenderism. Under the USDA’s May guidance, districts will have to comply with Washington’s standards on “gender identity and sexual orientation” or lose federal meal funding. Either way, the message is clear: The man who claims to “like kids more than people” would rather let them starve than give an inch on his LGBT extremism.
Of course, this system of political blackmail isn’t new for Democrats. Barack Obama perfected the racket during his two terms, threatening everything from classroom dollars to foster kids over his obsession with sexual politics. Biden’s old boss was so fixated with redefining gender that he put education funds on the chopping block in any state that fought his bathroom free-for-all. Like everyone else on the Left, Obama claimed to care more about children and the disadvantaged than conservatives — only to turn around and deprive thousands of orphans of new families, because he didn’t like some adoption agencies’ faith.
Now, a year and a half into Biden’s term, Americans are seeing the willingness of Democrats to let children suffer because of their allegiance to the LGBT cause. This latest stunt, exploiting what was part of the government’s food stamp program, is cruel even for the leftist fringe. Under the USDA’s new policy, every Food and Nutrition Service Program for low-income families will have to comply or kiss goodbye to Uncle Sam’s help. The school lunch program alone serves 29 million students a day, providing underprivileged children with breakfast or lunch — or both. And as the Heritage Foundation’s Sarah Perry points out, the policy wouldn’t just affect public schools, but private schools and some residential child care facilities, too.
That’s a bridge too far for most states, who have sent their attorneys general into the battle to stop Biden from malnourishing kids. Led by Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery (R), 26 of the states’ top law enforcers fired back at Biden in a pointed letter that demands the president stop using children as pawns in his war to transgender America.
Like most of the president’s lawless orders, the government uses the Supreme Court’s wrong-headed Bostock decision, which unilaterally redefined sex as part of the Civil Rights Act, as its excuse. “The USDA cannot point to Bostock to justify its interpretation of Title IX because Bostock concerned only Title VII,” the letter argues. “Bostock expressly disclaimed application to ‘other federal or state laws that prohibit sex discrimination’ — like Title IX and the Food and Nutrition Act—and expressly did not ‘prejudge any such questions.’”
Worse, the attorneys general explain, the Biden administration tries to pass off this policy as a “clarification” of the rule — instead of what it really is: “a re-write of the law in Title IX and the Food and Nutrition Act.” That’s not clarification; that’s legislation. “[B]y vastly expanding the concept of ‘discrimination on the basis of sex’ to include gender identity and sexual orientation, the [g]uidance does much more than offer direction. It imposes new—and unlawful—regulatory measures on state agencies … receiving federal financial assistant from the USDA.”
Also telling, Biden’s team offered no advanced notice or opportunity for public comment — two things that violate the rulemaking process, the group of 26 argues. And yet, the USDA seems uninterested in helping schools transition into the program or even waiting for them to do so. In the document, the agency flat-out said, “There will not be a grace period for accepting and processing discrimination complaints based on sexual orientation and gender identity in [Food and Nutrition Service] programs.”
“Using hungry children as a human shield in a policy dispute violates basic decency,” Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost (R) fumed. “Aren’t there any parents in the Biden administration that can see past the edges of their ideology?”
Apparently not, since their boss — a father and grandfather — is threatening a meal-time famine until schools conform. “We have long had a productive relationship with the federal government, managing various food and nutrition programs guided by the principles of cooperative federalism,” the attorneys general, who represent a majority of U.S. states, write. “We would like to continue this cooperative relationship. But the guidance flouts the rule of law, relies on patently incorrect legal analysis that is currently under scrutiny in the federal courts, and was issued without giving the states the requisite opportunity to be heard.” They concluded by asking Biden to “direct Secretary [of Agriculture Tom] Vilsack and the Department of Agriculture to rescind this guidance.”
Our president won’t feed kids, but — starting today — he’ll happily scar them. Such is the radicalism of this White House. Such is the urgency to stop it.
The effort is led by Tennessee with the support of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
Suzanne Bowdey serves as editorial director and senior writer at The Washington Stand.