Critics lashed out at the Biden administration Thursday after it unveiled its proposal for new Title IX rules to expand the meaning of sexual discrimination to include gender identity as it relates to the application for transgender athletes participating in women’s sports.
Under the Department of Education’s proposed rule, no school or college that receives federal funding would be allowed to impose a ‘one-size-fits-all’ policy that categorically bans transgender students from playing on sports teams consistent with their gender identity. Such policies would be considered a violation of Title IX.
‘As a woman who has made history breaking glass ceilings, we must protect women. Women and girls have fought tirelessly for their rightful place in sports, and Title IX has been a crucial tool in leveling the playing field,’ Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., told Fox News Digital.
‘Allowing biological men to compete in women’s sports compromises the hard-won progress women have made in achieving equal opportunities in athletics. We need to find solutions that respect and protect the rights of all individuals while also preserving the integrity and fairness of women’s sports,’ she added.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., told Fox the proposed new rules ran in stark contrast to Democrats’ usual rhetoric on women’s issues. ‘For a party that claims to care about women, the left sure is intent on depriving them of the opportunity to fairly compete,’ she said.
‘This insane injustice cannot stand,’ Rep. Andrew Clyde, R-Ga., tweeted. ‘Mark my words: I will fight this woke nonsense through the appropriations process.’
Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., mocked the proposal as ‘the Biden Easter present to America,’ and warned that the views of parents who have a problem with biological males playing on their daughter’s team and being present in their locker room wouldn’t count.
‘Title IX was meant to protect women’s sports. Now, Biden is using Title IX to destroy them,’ Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel tweeted.
Nicole Neily, president and founder of advocacy group Parents Defending Education, accused the Biden administration of ‘placing the onus upon school districts’ to determine whether injecting gender identity into athletics was ‘problematic or not.’
‘Without a doubt, institutions are going to err on the side of ‘inclusion,’ because they fear the wrath of the Education Department – thus, achieving the Department’s end goal while allowing them to maintain plausible deniability that they coerced districts into doing so,’ she warned.
In 2022, Biden’s Education Department proposed regulations on Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 to expand the meaning of sex discrimination to include ‘gender identity’ and said it would reveal more details in the spring of 2023.
The plan also earned pushback from many conservative groups who argue the president does not have the legal authority to make the changes to Title IX.
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona has said that he supports allowing biological male transgender people to compete in women’s sports. He said during his confirmation hearing that it is ‘critically important’ that educators and school systems ‘respect the rights of all students, including students who are transgender’ and that all students should be able to participate in activities.
Fox News’ Andrew Mark Miller contributed to this report.