May 18, 2024

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Kobach sues federal government over new Title IX rules

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Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach is suing the federal government over changes to Title IX requirements that are supposed to protect women and minorities from discrimination based on race or sex.

In late April, the Biden administration finalized new Title IX regulations that removed “sex” as a protected designation and changed it to “gender identity.”  Biden’s new Title IX rules go into effect on August 1 of this year.

According to a release from Kobach’s office, “under the Biden administration’s Title IX rule, a 16-year-old female on an overnight trip could be forced to share a hotel room with a biological male who identifies as a girl, or the district would lose federal funding. A 14-year-old girl could be forced to share a locker room and change in front of an 18-year-old biological male who identifies as a woman, or the district could lose funds.”

As the Sentinel has previously reported, this has already been an issue in Kansas. 

On a school trip to Costa Rica in 2022, three female high school students in the Eudora school district were assigned to a two-bed hotel room with a transgender student who is biologically male — meaning one of them would have had to share a bed with the trans student — and school officials refused a request for a room change.

One of the girls objected and told a chaperone she didn’t feel comfortable with the arrangement but was told to “deal with it.”

Moreover, Kansas State University Research and Extension has refused to say whether a controversial transgender housing policy remains in effect.

As the Sentinel reported in late 2022, the housing policy at Rock Springs 4-H Youth Camp (which is not owned by K-State but upon whose board state 4-H board members sit) had a housing policy that caused at least one biological boy to be housed with girls — without informing parents.

Indeed, the Manhattan Mercury reported in June 2022: “Housing is assigned based on gender selected at the time of registration,” said Kansas 4-H Foundation president and CEO Jake Worcester in an email to The Mercury. “This has always been the process of assigning housing at Kansas 4-H camps.”

It is unlikely, however, that this has “always been the process” as the national policy, which 4-H in Kansas follows, was adopted in 2019 and 2020.

Kobach is joined by the states of Utah, Alaska, and Wyoming as well as minor “K.R.” through her mother, Shawna Rowland, Moms for Liberty, Young America’s Foundation, and Female Athletes United.

Female athletes oppose Title IX change

Female athletes have also been fighting against these Title IX rules in attempts to preserve female athletics. Title IX was passed in part to ensure that women had equal opportunity to participate in college athletics. However, in recent years, biological males claiming transgender status have won national championships in women’s sports.

Indeed, as the Sentinel reported in 2022, NBC News reported on a British study that found that even after a year of hormone replacement — which most transgender minors are not receiving — transgender athletes retain their advantages over biologically female athletes.

Moreover, a comparison between the 2016 male finalists for the New Balance Nationals Outdoor Championship — an elite track and field tournament for the best junior high and high school competitors in the country — and the 2016 women’s Olympic track and field finalists found that in many cases, the women’s gold medalists would not have even qualified to enter the boys’ competition.

More recently, the World Athletics Council, the governing body for international track and field, said it would bar transgender women from elite competitions for female athletes.

The athletics issue is specifically addressed in the lawsuit.

“This unlawful rule also robs girls and women of their opportunity to participate in their school’s education programs and activities, especially athletics, by forcing them to compete with biological males,” the complaint reads. “It forces both boys and girls, in their most formative years, to sacrifice their privacy in personal spaces such as restrooms, locker rooms, and even overnight accommodations.”

The new rules would also “incentivize abortion and pose serious due process problems on college campuses related to sexual harassment accusations. The rule violates the First Amendment rights of teachers and school employees who have sincerely held religious beliefs that would prevent them from complying with the rule.

“It’s insanity,” Kobach said. “Biden’s Title IX rule is unconscionable. It’s dangerous to girls and women, and it’s against federal law.” 

 

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