Federal Judge Blocks Biden Administration’s Expanded LGBTQ+ Protections in Six States

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A federal judge declared on Monday that the Biden administration is unable to implement expanded safeguards for LGBTQ+ students in Ohio, Virginia, and four other states. This decision is the latest in a string of court decisions that have rejected efforts to broaden the application of a statute that has been in effect for decades and outlaws discrimination based on sexual orientation.

According to a ruling that was 93 pages long, United States District Judge Danny Reeves stated that the new safeguards, which are scheduled to go into effect on August 1st, cannot be enforced in the states of Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Virginia, and West Virginia while a lawsuit that was filed by the attorneys general of those states is being heard.

The new regulations mandate that schools must protect students from any and all forms of sex discrimination, including sexual violence and harassment based on sexual orientation. Furthermore, the definition of sex discrimination has been expanded to include discrimination based on pregnancy or conditions related to pregnancy, such as childbirth, termination of pregnancy, or recovery from pregnancy.

It is necessary to comply with the new regulations in order to be eligible for federal education assistance. The changes that were made by the administration of Vice President Joe Biden to Title IX, which is a federal law that was passed in 1972 and prohibits sex-based discrimination at schools that receive federal aid, aim to curb discrimination “based on sex stereotypes, sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex characteristics,” as stated by the Department of Education.

However, in his decision that was handed down on Monday, Reeves, who was appointed by former President George W. Bush, stated that the Department of Education “would turn Title IX on its head by redefining’sex’ to include ‘gender identity.'”

The judge wrote that he believed the changes would, in effect, require some educators “to use students’ preferred pronouns regardless of whether doing so conflicts with the educator’s religious or moral beliefs.” He also stated that he believed the Department’s interpretation was in conflict with the plain language of Title IX, and that it therefore exceeded the Department’s authority to promulgate regulations under that statute.

This ruling came just a few days after a different judge in Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, and Idaho also prevented the administration from enforcing the safeguards in those states. The federal courts located all around the country are currently hearing a number of other challenges.

When asked about the Department of Education’s response to the ruling from the previous week, a spokesman for the department pointed to it on Monday as per edition.cnn.com.

Vanessa Harmoush, the spokesperson for the Department of Education, stated in a statement that “the Department crafted the final Title IX regulations following a rigorous process to realize the Title IX statutory guarantee.” We will continue to fight for each and every student, and the Department of Education is committed to upholding the final Title IX regulations that were announced in April of 2024.

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