Today, FreedomWorks Foundation’s Regulatory Action Center filed a comment opposing the Biden administration’s Department of Education proposal to expand Title IX to include LGBTQI+ students. More than 3600 FreedomWorks activists submitted their own comments.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects students and school employees from discriminating “on the basis of sex” in schools and universities receiving federal funds (that is, virtually all schools and higher-education institutions).
Congress enacted Title IX in 1972 to ensure that girls and women had access to the same educational opportunities and programs as boys and men. Fifty years later, it has been an unqualified success. Biden’s proposal would destroy that legacy.
While the issue of transgender students’ participation on a particular male or female athletics team will be addressed in a future rulemaking, this proposal would require schools to allow participation in programs and facilities that are consistent with a person’s gender identity.
This means that schools would have to open women’s/girls bathrooms and other facilities to individuals just because they claim to be female. This sacrifices the safety and privacy of women and girls to carry out a “woke” policy agenda.
The proposed rule would dramatically expand what conduct is prohibited, capturing under “harassment” innocent comments that happen to offend someone. This sweeping prohibition will surely run afoul of the First Amendment in many instances.
The proposed rule also undoes the Trump administration’s Title IX due process requirements for students and employees accused of sexual assault or harassment. Under the Biden administration’s proposal, those accused would not have the right to a live hearing and cross-examination of witnesses. The proposal would also allow a single person to both investigate and adjudicate the allegations of sexual assault or harassment.
Once again, the Biden administration is attempting to legislate by regulation. Only Congress–elected to represent the people–can make such sweeping policy determinations involving the sensitive issues and trade-offs in this proposed expansion. Unless and until Congress acts, the Biden administration should leave Title IX alone.