Biden Title IX transgender sports rules delayed after 240,000 comments submitted
Biden Title IX transgender sports rules delayed after 240,000 comments submittedHaisten Willis
May 26, 05:51 PM May 26, 05:51 PM
The Biden administration’s new transgender sports rules have been delayed after it was flooded with comments about the proposal.
More than 240,000 comments about the rules, which would limit how far states can go with gender-based athletics restrictions, were submitted between April 12 through May 15.
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“Carefully considering and reviewing these comments takes time, and is essential to ensuring the final rule is enduring,” read a Department of Education blog post released on Friday that announced the updated timeline. “That is why the department is updating its Spring Unified Agenda to now reflect an anticipated date of October 2023 for the final Title IX rule.”
The proposal was first announced on April 6 and requires schools to allow students in elementary grades to compete in sports based on their gender identity while leaving some wiggle room for high school and college sports to be decided by individual schools. It was originally supposed to be finalized in May or June.
The White House billed the proposal as a way to back transgender athletes, and while some progressives were upset that it didn’t go far enough, Republicans bashed it as forcing schools to allow men to compete against women and girls.
Conservative leaders celebrated the delay as a win.
“Thousands of grassroots Americans submitted public comments opposing Biden’s radical redefinition of sex and Title IX, and they scored a tremendous victory with the announcement of the rule’s delay,” said Jessica Anderson, executive director of Heritage Action. “This is a testament to the strength of the grassroots and underlines how unpopular the Left’s gender agenda is with the American people.”
Heritage Action, the lobbying arm of the Heritage Foundation, was one of multiple conservative groups that launched portals soliciting comments against the move.
The update made clear that the department is still pursuing the new rules, saying the Biden-Harris administration is “committed to ensuring all students are guaranteed an educational environment free from discrimination on the basis of sex.”
“The Title IX proposed regulations that the department released in July 2022 are historic,” reads the update, which does not list an author. “They would strengthen protections for students who experience sexual harassment and assault at school, and they would help protect LGBTQI+ students from discrimination.”
The 240,000 public comments submitted in just over a month is nearly twice as many as the department received last time it updated Title IX rules. It is now digging through those comments.
Education Secretary Miguel Cardona has pitched the proposed rule as protection for equal athletics opportunity, adding that he welcomes and encourages the public to weigh in. It is not known how many comments were in favor of the new rules and how many opposed them.
A number of gay and transgender advocacy groups praised the rule in submitted comments, including a coalition that included the Trevor Project and the National Center for Lesbian Rights.
“The rule as proposed effectively would prohibit any policy restricting the ability of transgender students to participate in school sports in elementary and middle school, and it would permit any such restrictive policies in high school only in rare circumstances and only at highly competitive levels,” the coalition wrote in its comment.
The move sets the White House up against several GOP governors, most notably presidential hopeful Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL). DeSantis is known for his engagement on culture war issues, and the Florida legislature has approved a ban on transgender treatments for children.
Overall, 20 states have enacted legislation to ban biologically male students from competing in high school women’s sports, according to the Associated Press.
If the new federal rule is implemented and schools defy it, they could lose federal funds.