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The Biden administration proposed new regulations on the 50th anniversary of Title IX that would sweep gender identity into the law’s protections.
“The regulations… will strengthen protections for LGBTQI+ students who face discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity,” the Department of Education said.
Title IX, which was passed into law in 1972, prohibited sex-based discrimination in schools that receive federal funding. It stated that “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.”
“My Administration will continue to fight tirelessly to realize the promise of Title IX—that every person deserves an opportunity to pursue their education free from discrimination and realize their full potential,” President Biden said in a statement.
The administration also said it will release additional regulations on transgender students’ participation in sports, a move that is likely to meet pushback from Republicans.
House Republicans introduced legislation in 2021 that would ban individuals assigned male at birth from participating in women’s sports. In April, GOP lawmakers signed a petition to compel the House to vote on the bill. Also last year, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act,” which prohibited those assigned male at birth from participating in women’s athletics.
“You can see this playing out in everything from using accurate pronouns to maintaining separate locker room showers on the basis of sex,” Matt Sharp, an attorney at Alliance Defending Freedom, told Fox News Digital. “They think that telling a man you’re not eligible for the women’s team is harmful and violates Title IX, and that’s simply not consistent with Title IX, its original meaning or what it’s been interpreted to mean for the past 50 years.”
“This is only one aspect of the Left’s divisive gender identity agenda,” according to Heritage Action executive director Jessica Anderson.
“This is about more than sports – it is about protecting women’s civil rights,” she said.
The Biden administration believes that former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos‘ changes to Title IX “weakened protections for survivors of sexual assault and diminished the promise of an education free from discrimination.”
Accordingly, the proposed regulations would walk back on the Trump administration’s mandates to “restore crucial protections for students who are victims of sexual harassment, assault, and sex-based discrimination – a critical safety net for survivors that was weakened under previous regulations.”
“Our proposed changes would fully protect students from all forms of sex discrimination, instead of limiting some protections to sexual harassment alone, and make clear those protections include discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity,” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said.
Trump’s changes sought to ensure “even-handed justice” by requiring a transparent process and schools to prescribe a standard of evidence, according to the former administration.
“Bureaucracy created in our Nation’s institutions of higher education have often stacked the deck against the accused, failing to offer protections such as a presumption of innocence or adequate ability to rebut allegations,” the Trump administration said at the time.
Fox News’ Kelsey Koberg contributed to this report.