June 16, 2021

Department of Education Redefines Sex

New Guidance will force schools to allow males on female sports teams and in female locker rooms


Today, the Department of Education released a “Notice of Interpretation” explaining that for the purposes of Title IX, the Department will define “sex” as including self-declared sexual orientation and gender identity. To justify this decision, the document relies on applying the Supreme Court’s Title VII Bostock decision to Title IX.

Meridian Baldacci, Policy and Communications Strategist at Family Policy Alliance, stated:

The Department of Education’s decision is bad policy, poor procedure, and a misapplication of the Court’s decision in Bostock.

The Department does not and should not have the power to change the law. Congress has not defined “sex” in Title IX to mean sexual orientation and gender identity. In fact, Congress has repeatedly declined to do so by rejecting the federal Equality Act. And, the Supreme Court was explicit that its own redefinition of sex in Title VII did not apply to other laws.

That Bostock declined to touch Title IX or other laws was a good thing for girls and women. Because of Title IX’s intentional sex-based distinction, girls are not only able to have access to their own sports teams, but also to the many opportunities that access affords. When males are permitted to compete on girls’ teams, males’ natural physiological advantages mean that competitions can be over before they begin. As a result, girls lose out on titles, scholarships, and other elite opportunities which Title IX helped secure for girls in the first place.

It’s ironic that the Department of Education is handing female opportunities to males on a silver platter, and using Title IX to do it.

Preserving female sports is not the only reason Title IX’s sex-based distinction matters. Title IX’s provisions also affect the ability of schools to provide single-sex locker rooms, changing rooms, and other private spaces. Under the Department’s new interpretation, schools will be expected to allow males into female-only spaces, and vice versa. This is an affront to children’s privacy. The Department of Education should not have the power to determine when a child is seen unclothed by a member of the opposite sex.

Not only did the Department of Education act outside its authority today, but in doing so it reminded us of an important fact: the Biden Administration is out of touch with Real America. Ordinary Americans care about protecting girls’ sports, children’s privacy, and the rights of professionals like teachers and doctors. Yet the Biden Administration has promptly ignored each of these groups of people in favor of an agenda that ignores biology and “redefines” sex.

The Department’s actions today underscore the importance of state action to protect women and children from the runaway train of this agenda. Already, over 30 states have introduced legislation, and eight have passed laws, to protect female athletes. And we fully expect that states will push back against this action from the Department of Education. When the Obama Administration issued similar guidance in 2016, 13 states sued and ultimately the guidance was enjoined. Today, for the sake of women and girls, we hope that history repeats itself.”

Media Contact:
Robert Noland, (719) 308-2822, Media@FamilyPolicyAlliance.com


Family Policy Alliance is an alliance-building ministry that advances biblical citizenship and promotes good public policy to protect religious freedom, families, and life.


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