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Biden Administration Revises Title IX Rules to Accommodate Gender Identity

'I never thought I’d see the day where Title IX would be used to harm women,' said former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos

Biden Administration Revises Title IX Rules to Accommodate Gender Identity

The Biden administration’s newly released Title IX rules have been received by many as an attempt to give biological males access to spaces and resources previously reserved for women. 

The new regulation marks a fulfilled campaign promise for President Joe Biden, who vowed to alter regulations issued under former President Donald Trump. The Department of Education oversees the enforcement of Title IX.

The most significant change may be the formal addition of “gender identity” to the new rules, prohibiting discrimination based on how a student-athlete personally identifies their gender. According to the Department of Education, “sex discrimination includes discrimination based on sex stereotypes, sex characteristics, pregnancy or related conditions, sexual orientation, and gender identity.” 

“For more than 50 years, Title IX has promised an equal opportunity to learn and thrive in our nation's schools free from sex discrimination,” said United States Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona in an April 19 press release. “These final regulations build on the legacy of Title IX by clarifying that all our nation’s students can access schools that are safe, welcoming, and respect their rights.”

The Department of Education gathered comments from members of the public to further guide their determinations, especially when transfiguring the rules to accommodate a progressive view of gender.

“Transgender students shared being forced to use school facilities that do not align with their gender identity, feeling unsafe using the facilities, or not having access to gender neutral facilities,” the document from the DOE notes. “Commenters asserted that a safe educational environment for nonbinary and transgender students is a matter of life or death.”

“The Department thoughtfully and respectfully considered all of the personal experiences,” the federal department wrote.

Schools are required to respond to complaints from students who identify as transgender, gay or bisexual and feel they have faced discrimination. Students whose schools do not act accordingly can appeal to the federal government for support.

“The final regulations clarify that a school must not separate or treat people differently based on sex in a manner that subjects them to more than de minimis harm, except in limited circumstances permitted by Title IX,” stated the department in a fact sheet explaining the rules changes. “The final regulations further recognize that preventing someone from participating in school (including in sex-separate activities) consistent with their gender identity causes that person more than de minimis harm. This general nondiscrimination principle applies except in the limited circumstances specified by statute, such as in the context of sex-separate living facilities and sex-separate athletic teams." 

Fox News notes that the new rules do not include a policy “forbidding schools from enacting outright bans on transgender athletes competing against biological females.”

“The Biden administration was widely expected to bring in such a policy but has instead put the provision on hold,” reports the outlet. “The delay is widely seen as a political maneuver during an election year in which Republicans have rallied around bans on transgender athletes in girls' sports.”

In another major change, the Biden administration repealed the rules of governing due process during a sexual assault allegation that was enacted under Trump in 2020. 

Coaches and colleges cannot suspend athletes who have been accused of sexual assault until the completion of the investigation into their conduct. The new rules also change “a controversial rule directing schools to conduct live hearings with cross-examination, instead allowing colleges and universities to have investigators question parties individually or during a live hearing in which each party can submit questions,” per ESPN.

Colleges and universities have until Aug. 5 to comply with the DOE’s new rules. 

Female advocates for girls’ sports denounced the Biden administration’s revision, which they warn will adversely impact biologically female athletes.

Former NCAA Division 1 swimmer Riley Gaines wrote on X that the rewrite means “men can take academic AND athletic scholarships from women ... men will have FULL access to bathrooms, locker rooms, etc,” and “students and faculty MUST compel their speech by requiring the use of preferred pronouns.”

DO NOT EVER LET ANY DEMOCRAT TELL YOU THEY CARE ABOUT WOMEN’S RIGHTS EVER AGAIN IF THEY DO NOT STAND UP TO THIS ABOMINATION OF A TITLE IX REVISION,” wrote journalist Megyn Kelly in a post. “These regs are a nuclear level attack on women’s rights and men’s due process rights. JOE BIDEN MUST GO.”

“I never thought I’d see the day where Title IX would be used to harm women, but sadly, that day has come,” wrote Betsy DeVos, who served as Secretary of Education during the Trump administration.

The original language of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 stated, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” The amendment was made law on June 23, 1972 and was celebrated as the launch pad of feminist lawmaking, per the National Women’s History Museum.

According to an article by R. Shep Melnick for National Affairs:

The key to understanding current disputes over Title IX is to appreciate just how far federal regulations have departed from the law's original purpose. Title IX initially focused on what happens in the classroom. That focus soon shifted to the playing field, then shifted again to bedrooms and bathrooms. Over the past five decades, the understanding of nondiscrimination underlying Title IX has steadily drifted away from eliminating institutional barriers to educational opportunity for women and girls, and toward the much more ambitious project of changing the way we think about sex differences, gender roles, and sexuality in general.

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