September 4, 2020

U.S. Department of Education to Family Policy Alliance: Department Supports “Single-Sex Teams Based Only on Biological Sex at Birth”

The letter, a response to a coalition letter in June, sends a strong message of support for female athletes

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado – This week, Family Policy Alliance – a pro-family ministry – received a letter from the U.S. Department of Education detailing its continued support for policies that reserve girls’ sports for female athletes. The letter was a response to a June 26 letter from 46 organizations who expressed their support for this approach to school sports, and urged the Department to continue to support this approach after facing immense pressure to change course in light of the Supreme Court’s Bostock decision. The Department’s letter, available here, made clear that President Trump and Education Secretary DeVos continue to support the ability of female athletes to compete on a level playing field.

The Department articulated its support for “single-sex teams based only on biological sex at birth – male or female – as opposed to a person’s gender identity.”

The letter also strongly articulated the Department’s agreement with Family Policy Alliance and the coalition letter’s co-signers that Bostock is not controlling – nor should it be – over Title IX, the federal law that prevents sex discrimination in educational programs including sports. The Department’s letter unequivocally states “the Department will continue to vigorously support and protect female student athletes under Title IX” and articulates detailed legal reasoning for why Bostock was not – and should not be – applied to the issue of women’s sports under Title IX.

“…there are circumstances in which a person’s sex is relevant,” writes the Department, “and distinctions based on the two sexes in such circumstances are permissible because the sexes are not similarly situated.” The letter continues later: “The Supreme Court’s opinion in Bostock does not affect the Department’s position … .”

Family Policy Alliance is grateful for the Department’s strong stand for female athletes, and for its robust response to the coalition letter.

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Family Policy Alliance works to advance biblical citizenship and promote good public policy that protects religious freedom, families, and life.


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