Proposed Rule Change Receives Enormous Response

The Biden administration’s proposed Title IX rule has received more than 349,000 public comments.

Title IX is a 1972 law that bans sex discrimination in federally funded schools and education programs. Title IX has been the subject of controversy in recent years. During the administration of President Barack Obama, the U.S. Department of Education released a so-called guidance document claiming that Title IX banned discrimination based on gender identity and instructing schools to allow “transgender” students to use opposite-sex facilities. Under President Donald Trump, the Education Department interpreted Title IX differently; the Department correctly asserted that Title IX did not require public schools to give “transgender” students access to opposite-sex locker rooms and restrooms. In June, under the leadership of President Joe Biden, the Education Department proposed a Title IX rule that would once again require public schools to protect against discrimination based on gender identity. The proposed rule would also interpret Title IX to include a ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation, and would relax due process requirements for investigations into sexual misconduct at colleges and universities.

Fifteen Republican attorneys general have spoken out in opposition to the proposed rule. The group has argued that the proposed rule would conflict with state laws that protect the integrity of girls’ sports, would conflict with the text of Title IX itself, and would “‘improperly intrude into parental decision-making regarding the education and upbringing of their children.’”

According to one media outlet, “religious freedom and free speech advocates warn that the proposed rule change could be used to enforce mandates on hiring, bathrooms, using preferred pronouns, and dress codes.”

In a strange twist, more than 160,000 public comments disappeared from the federal government’s website recently. Sarah Parshall Perry of the Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies commented that “‘whether the sudden loss of nearly 200,000 citizen comments stems from incompetence or obfuscation, the Department of Education has some explaining to do.’”

Defense of Freedom Institute for Policy Studies President Robert Eitel has stated that it is “‘possible, but improbable’” that comments from the public will persuade the Biden administration to withdraw the proposed Title IX rule because “‘there is a core political constituency that is demanding this change.’” This analysis is correct; the sway that the LGBT lobby holds within the Democratic Party makes it extraordinarily unlikely that the Biden administration will reconsider this damaging proposed rule.