Biden administration sued for extending Title IX anti-discrimination protection to trans people

Five Republican-majority states are suing the Biden administration over recent Title IX expansions, which protect transgender people in the US.

The Biden administration finalised sweeping new Title IX anti-discrimination rules on Friday 19 April, to protect people in public schools from sex-based discrimination and harassment.

The finalised rules provide explicit protections for LGBTQ+ students and expressly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

However, in lawsuits filed this week, officials in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana and Idaho all vowed to reject the expansion to the anti-discrimination law.

Republican Texas attorney general Ken Paxton was the first to issue a lawsuit against the government, on Monday (29 April), in an attempt to block the new rules, which include a prohibition on barring trans students from using the correct facilities.

Ken Paxton is among several political figures to have filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration. (Getty)

The attorney general, who has come under fire for his anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric, said that the expanded rules would force him to comply with what he deemed radical gender ideology.

“Texas will not allow Joe Biden to rewrite Title IX at whim,” he said. “This attempt to subvert federal law is plainly illegal, undemocratic and divorced from reality.

“Texas will always take the lead to oppose Biden’s extremist, destructive policies that put women at risk.”

Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi and Montana followed suit by filing separate lawsuits later the same day, arguing that the amendments exceed the administration’s authority and push a “political agenda.”

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, the five states are believed to have filed at least 100 anti-LGBTQ+ bills in 2023 alone, several of which have passed into law.

The proposed laws include banning trans people from sporting events, prohibiting trans student using the correct facilities and the removal of books from public and school libraries.

The transgender community continues to be a target for right-wing politicians. (Getty)

Texas is among the worst states, having filed 55 anti-LGBTQ+ laws in 2023, six of which passed into law.

Other Republican-led states, including Florida, have condemned the protections while not explicitly filing lawsuits against the amendments.

In a video on social media, Florida’s Republican governor and failed presidential candidate, Ron DeSantis, said the state “rejects Joe Biden’s attempt to rewrite Title IX” and vowed not to comply.

Meanwhile Oklahoma’s superintendent of public instruction, Ryan Walters, said the Sooner State was “pursuing all actions to oppose this illegal and unconstitutional move by the Biden administration”.

Despite the fervour of anti-LGBTQ+ politicians, the reforms have been heralded by international organisations and human rights groups.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) described the Title IX reform as “life-changing” for young LGBTQ+ Americans.

HRC president Kelley Robinson said: “Even as we celebrate this progress, our work is far from finished. LGBTQ+ Americans, particularly transgender youth, continue to endure attacks on their rights and dignity at state level.

“We call on the Biden-Harris administration to move swiftly to ensure Title IX protects the rights of transgender athletes to play and be part of a team. There are also critical protections in healthcare, including veterans care, that are overdue. It’s time to get the job done.”

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