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Biden Proposes Rule to Gut Title IX on 50th Anniversary

June 23, 2022

The Department of Education on Thursday issued a 701-page proposed rule announcing changes to the interpretation of Title IX, which covers education. The proposed rule was announced exactly 50 years after Title IX was first passed into law, on June 23, 1972.

The rule is primarily concerned with expanding the definition of “discrimination on the basis of sex” to include “discrimination on the basis of sex stereotypes, sex characteristics, pregnancy or related conditions, sexual orientation, and gender identity.”

“The Biden administration has gutted protections for women and girls with this action. They have made it clear that they put the agenda of the progressive Left ahead of the rights of women and girls,” said Meg Kilgannon, senior fellow for education studies at Family Research Council.

Title IX is responsible for achieving widespread equality between male and female athletic facilities and teams, locker rooms, and other curricular and extra-curricular activities at all levels of education.

However, in recent years, women’s sports have become controversial, as athletic associations, participants, and state governments have weighed in on whether biological males must compete against other males, or whether they may be allowed to compete against other females, if they identify as women. At least 18 states have barred biological males from competing in women’s sporting events, concluding that they have an inherent, biological advantage. President Joe Biden called these laws “discriminatory” at a recent “LGBTQ+ Pride Month” event hosted at the White House.

In their newly proposed rule, the Department of Education stated, “Sex discrimination … remains a serious problem, keeping affected students from benefiting fully from their school’s education programs and activities.”

Mary Beth Waddell, FRC’s director of federal affairs for Family and Religious Liberty, argued the administration’s position on Title IX is connected to its position on abortion. “Roe is nearly 50, Title IX is 50. Democrats are trying to uphold 50 years of women’s oppression and strike down 50 years of women’s rights and opportunity,” she said.

The Department of Education identified two executive orders issued by President Biden as the impetus for their proposed rule.

In a January 20, 2021 executive order, Biden wrote, “It is the policy of my administration to prevent and combat discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation, and to fully enforce Title VII and other laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.”

In a March 8, 2021 executive order, he added, “It is the policy of my administration that all students should be guaranteed an educational environment free from discrimination on the basis of sex, including discrimination in the form of sexual harassment, which encompasses sexual violence, and including discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.”

After conducting an extensive review of past policies, the Department of Education has now acted on those orders.

Joshua Arnold is a staff writer at The Washington Stand.