WASHINGTON – Republican governors across the Deep South are among 25 governors who have signed on to a letter urging U.S. Education Secretary Miguel A. Cardona to withdraw a proposed Title IX update. While the state trial is pending.
Ga. Gov. Brian Kemp, Ala. Gov. Kay Ivey, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Mrs. Tate Revis have signed laws that would ban students from participating in sports teams that match their gender identity, which which would be the proposed Title IX update. Challenge cases have been filed by groups challenging the laws in a majority of these states.
Title IX has been in place for more than 50 years and prohibits sex discrimination in athletics at any educational institution — K-12 schools and colleges and universities — or programs that receive federal funding.
The proposed update would establish that policies violate Title IX when they expressly prohibit transgender students from participating on sports teams that match their gender identity. Failure to comply with the regulations will result in the removal of federal funding from the education agency.
However, 25 Republican governors argue that the US Department of Education does not have the authority to unilaterally rewrite or approve such a change or create a new category for “gender identity.”
“Gender identity is nowhere mentioned in Title IX,” the letter states. “Federal courts have decided that to interpret ‘sex’ within the meaning of Title IX . . . look to the ordinary meaning of the word when it was enacted in 1972.’ In fact the Supreme Court has accepted that biological sex is an ‘immutable characteristic’ determined at birth.
Governors said the update would create confusion, citing a report from the American Academy of Pediatrics that said, “gender identity can be fluid, changing in different contexts.”
“…the Department’s proposed rule would attempt to enforce compliance with an unclear, fluid, and entirely subjective standard based on highly politicized gender ideology,” the letter states. “Subjective, controlled by a student’s self-identified ‘gender identity,’ forcing an athlete’s analysis by an athlete to be enforced under threat of departmental retaliation has no explanation. It does the opposite.”
Governors argue that such rules would allow men to “steal gains” from women in sports by allowing biological boys to compete on girls’ sports teams as female (non-gender girls).
The proposed law would destroy “fairness” in women’s sports, the letter said, adding that courts and “common sense” recognized that average physiological differences in men would displace women if they competed against each other.
The US Department of Education states that participation in school sports is an important part of learning and “provides valuable physical, social, academic and mental health benefits to students.”
Under the proposal, in certain cases, such as in competitive high school and college athletic environments, some schools would be able to adopt policies that limit the participation of transgender students.
Under the proposed rules, elementary school students would generally participate in school sports teams that match their gender identity.
Schools will have the flexibility to establish team eligibility standards, such as ensuring fairness in competition or preventing sports-related injuries. The criteria should take into account the sport, the level of competition and the degree or education level.
Schools that wish to prohibit students from participating in accordance with their gender identity should consider the nature of the sport in which the restriction will be applied, as sports vary in skill, and the talent they require. have The proposal notes that schools also offer teams at lower levels of competition, such as intramural or junior varsity teams, that allow all or most interested students to participate.
The Department’s proposed Title IX regulations will be open for public comment for 30 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register www.federalregister.gov.