17 GOP State Attorneys General Say Biden’s Title IX Rewrite Jeopardizes Women’s Progress, Safety

By Mark Tapscott
Mark Tapscott
Mark Tapscott
Congressional Correspondent
Congressional Correspondent for The Epoch Times.
September 13, 2022 Updated: September 15, 2022

A Biden administration proposed rewrite of the landmark Title IX ban on discrimination in public school classrooms and athletic fields will repeal five decades of women’s progress in education and subject female athletes to physical injury and sexual assault, according to a coalition of 17 Republican state attorneys general.

In a withering 37-page critique of the Department of Education’s proposal to replace the biological definition of sex with “gender identity,” the attorneys general, led by Montana’s Austin Knudsen, submitted their comment letter in the final hours of a lengthy public comment period that ended Sept. 12 at midnight.

The 60-day comment period saw nearly 250,000 elected officials, school administrators and teachers, nonprofit advocates, public interest law firms and private citizens view the department’s proposal, with many then submitting often detailed and impassioned analyses.

The total comment count will be made public by the government when the published version of the proposal in the Federal Register is updated.

A proposed revision to Title IX in 2020 generated in excess of 124,000 comments.

While the state attorneys general addressed every major component of the proposal, a primary focus of their analyses was the projected impact of the federal statute’s revision on women in schools and athletics, both adults and students.

“The department’s proposed rule defeats the entire original purpose of Title IX and will have a devastating impact on women’s athletics. Since its enactment in 1972, Title IX has led to an important increase in athletic opportunity for girls and women in sports,” the attorneys general wrote.

“In the name of equity, the proposed rule travels backward to a pre-Title IX era when schools had no obligation to provide equal, safe, and fair athletic opportunities for women and girls.

“It mandates open access to every education program and activity based on the amorphous concept of ‘gender identity.’

“So now, any school, college, or university that separates athletic teams based solely on biological sex will be actively committing a federal civil rights violation.”

The result will also put female athletes at risk of physical injury, the state attorneys general contended, saying: “Forcing female athletes to compete against male athletes is unfair and ignores science.

“Biological differences between males and females mean that girls and women are at an enormous disadvantage when competing against biological men in many sports.

“This also puts women and girls at greater risk of injury when competing against biological males in contact and combat sports.”

In a statement issued by Knudsen’s office, it was noted that when Title IX became law in 1972, it led to “an explosion in the participation of girls and women in sports” in secondary and post-secondary education.

The statement estimated that 3.4 million girls played high school sports and 219,000 women played NCAA sports in 2021.

The Biden administration’s proposal claims to separate the issue of biological males competing in women’s sports for a separate forthcoming rule-making process, but the state attorneys general roundly condemned the assertion, saying “your proposed rule merely pretends to reserve the issue of biological males participating in women’s sports for a separate rule-making.

“This wolf comes as wolf: Defining the term ‘sex’ to include gender identity will destroy women’s sports.”

As a result, the 17 Republican state attorneys general concluded by noting that “because the Biden administration’s attempt to change the focus and meaning of Title IX is an attack on the rights of girls and women and will make them less safe and cause them to lose vital opportunities, we will fight your proposed changes to Title IX with every available tool in our arsenal.”

In addition to Knudsen of Montana, the attorneys general signing the comment letter are Steve Marshall of Alabama, Derek Schmidt of Kansas, Leslie Rutledge of Arkansas, Daniel Cameron of Kentucky, Christopher Carr of Georgia, Jeff Landry of Louisiana, Ted Rokita of Indiana, Lynn Fitch of Mississippi, Doug Petersen of Nebraska, Ken Paxton of Texas, John O’Connor of Oklahoma, Sean Reyes of Utah, Alan Wilson of South Carolina, Jason Miyares of Virginia, Mark Vargo of South Dakota, and Jonathan Skrmetti of Tennessee.

As reported by The Epoch Times, a similarly lengthy and detailed critique was submitted a day earlier by the Arizona-based public interest law firm, the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) that specializes in First Amendment cases concerning freedom of speech and of religious expression and practice.

Mark Tapscott
Congressional Correspondent
Congressional Correspondent for The Epoch Times.