District Court Halts Title IX Changes in Kansas for Now

District Court Halts Title IX Changes in Kansas for Now

The U.S. District Court for Kansas on Tuesday granted a preliminary injunction barring enforcement of the Biden administration’s rewrite of Title IX while the lawsuit continues in court. The Biden rewrite of Title IX, a federal statute barring discrimination based on sex, would alter the definition of sex to include gender identity.

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) attorneys; Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach; attorneys general from Alaska, Utah and Wyoming; and Southeastern Legal Foundation, filed a lawsuit on behalf of Mom’s for Liberty, Young America’s Foundation, Female Athletes United and a minor student named Katie Rowland.

The injunction applies to Kansas, Utah, Alaska and Wyoming as well as the schools attended by members or their children of each of the groups represented.

“The Biden administration’s radical redefinition of sex won’t just rewire our educational system,” said Rachel Rouleau, legal counsel for ADF. “It means girls will be forced to undress in locker rooms and share hotel rooms with boys on overnight school trips, teachers and students will have to refrain from speaking truthfully about biological sex, and girls will lose their right to fair competition in sports. The court was right to halt the administration’s illegal efforts to rewrite Title IX while this critical lawsuit continues.”

On April 29, the U.S. Department of Education issued a “Final Rule” regarding Title IX, which changed the definition of “sex” in Title IX to include “gender identity” and changed the standards for what constitutes sexual harassment. The novel interpretation of the 1972 law, which was meant to prohibit sex discrimination in education programs that receive federal financial assistance, opens the door for schools to be liable for “discrimination” if they don’t allow students to use restrooms or locker rooms or participate in activities or sports teams according to their self-proclaimed “gender identity.”

When Rowland, a student and plaintiff in the Kansas case, was 11 years old, she began encountering biological males in the girls’ restroom at school. Some of them “identified” as female, while others, she said, did it only because they knew they could get away with it. She was so uncomfortable that she began avoiding using the school restrooms entirely.

The new rule takes effect Aug. 1, but ADF reports that this is the third injunction their attorneys have obtained to block the rule at least temporarily. Those injunctions affect 14 states, and several others states are also seeking preliminary injunctions to stop enforcement of the rule.

Above: Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach; Avalon Simpson and Aubrey Simpson, members of Female Athletes United; and ADF attorney Rachel Rouleau at a press conference, May 14, 2024.

Photo: Alliance Defending Freedom

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