Department of Education Defines “Gender Identity” Under Title IX

John L. Braese

WASHINGTON D.C. – The U.S. Department of Education recently issued a new regulation under Title IX redefining sex to include “gender identity”.

Title IX, passed in 1972, prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in programs and activities. It is widely recognized as the start of equality in female sports starting in elementary school and continuing through high school and college. After the passage in 1972, schools were forced to offer an equal number of sports to girls as existed with boys.

The new guidelines provide protection to students under Title IX for gender identity and sexual orientation including the use of locker rooms consistent with their gender identity. The new rules leave in place a state’s authority to play on sports teams or compete in a sport that aligns with their gender identity. Oregon, under the authority of the Oregon School Activities Association (OSAA), allows transgender student athletes to compete according to their gender identity as evidenced recently in the 6A state track and field championships.

“For more than 50 years, Title IX has promised an equal opportunity to learn and thrive in our nation’s schools free from sex discrimination,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “These final regulations build on the legacy of Title IX by clarifying that all our nation’s students can access schools that are safe, welcoming, and respect their rights.”

According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Education, the Title IX regulation related specifically to sports is still ongoing. Proposed amendments introduced in April 2023 have received over 150,000 public comments.

After the release of the new regulations, 68 members of the U.S. House of Representatives co-sponsored H.J. Resolution 165 seeking to block the new guidance. The resolution states:

“Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That Congress disapproves the rule submitted by the Department of Education relating to ‘Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex in Education Programs or Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance’ (89 Fed. Reg. 33474; published April 29, 2024), and such rule shall have no force or effect.”

No member of the Oregon congressional delegation is signed on as a co-sponsor of the resolution.

“The Biden administration’s final rule hacks Title IX into pieces and expunges decades of progress for women and girls across the nation. This is a clear and present threat, and one that cannot go unaddressed,” said Resolution, Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx.

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