Biden’s sweeping rule changes could wipe out women’s sports

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By BRENDAN CLAREY | THE CENTER SQUARE

The Biden administration has proposed sweeping changes to expand the nation’s law prohibiting sex discrimination in the nation’s schools to include gender identity and sexual orientation. Final action on the rule is not expected until March, but legal challenges likely will arise upon its implementation. 

The U. S. Department of Education says the rules protect students and try to strike a balance between concerns over fairness and safety with the benefits of allowing transgender students to play. Critics, however, say the rule burdens girls and illegally rewrites the law.

Jennifer Braceras, the director of the Independent Women’s Law Center and a former member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights, told Chalkboard News that the Biden administration’s proposed changes would change the civil rights statute’s implementation and meaning. (Chalkboard News is published by the Franklin News Foundation, which also publishes The Center Square.)

“Title IX is a very specific statute, and it does only one thing: prohibit schools that accept federal dollars from discriminating on the basis of sex,” Braceras told Chalkboard. “Although Title IX is limited as to who it covers, it is broad in that it covers all aspects of the educational experience — including sports.”  

“In most educational areas, separating males and females is considered discriminatory,” Braceras said. “But sports are different from academics.

“Where sex is irrelevant to academics, it is often dispositive with respect to athletics because males have a clear biological advantage,” Braceras said. “That is why, for the past 50 years, the regulations that enforce Title IX have permitted schools to offer single-sex athletic teams.

“Unfortunately, however, the Biden administration has proposed a rule that, if adopted, would reverse the presumption that schools can offer separate sports teams for males and females,” Braceras said. “Under the proposed rule, women’s sports aren’t just for women anymore – they are for anyone who says he identifies as a woman unless a particular school can demonstrate that keeping a particular team female meets ‘important educational objectives.’” 

The Biden administration has proposed one larger rule that would redefine sex discrimination to include gender identity and sexual orientation for federally funded academic institutions. There’s also a second rule that applies specifically to sports and athletic teams for those institutions. 

The broader changes proposed to Title IX govern a number of protections for students including pregnancy discrimination, sexual harassment, parental rights, how schools are required to take action, retaliation for filing a complaint, improve grievance reporting procedures and changes to create protections for gender identity and sexuality.

That sweeping rule change would, among other things, prohibit recipients of federal funds from “adopting a policy or engaging in a practice that prevents a person from participating in an education program or activity consistent with their gender identity.”  

The athletic-specific rule would prohibit blanket bans on transgender athletes participating in sports that align with their gender identity. It would put the onus on school districts and institutions of higher learning to create case-by-case guidelines for sports and athletes.

“If a recipient adopts or applies sex-related criteria that would limit or deny a student’s eligibility to participate on a male or female athletic team consistent with their gender identity, those criteria must, for each sport, level of competition, and grade or education level: be substantially related to the achievement of an important educational objective, and minimize harms to students whose opportunity to participate on a male or female team consistent with their gender identity would be limited or denied,” the proposed rule states.

“Obviously, developing detailed policies for each and every team will be administratively burdensome and legally risky for schools,” Braceras said. “Moreover, schools will have to somehow show that they have ‘minimized the harm’ to trans students – a subjective test without clear contours.

“No school superintendent wants to litigate this issue with Washington multiple times at the risk that the Department will revoke federal funding,” Braceras said. “So most schools are likely just to let males who say they identify as women play on women’s teams, no questions asked. “

“So, in effect, the new rule places the burden of proof on the female athletes who object to men in their sport,” Braceras said. 

The rules purportedly strike a balance between the interests of transgender students and players who will be competing against opponents who may be of the opposite biological sex. 

“The Department recognizes that prevention of sports-related injury is an important educational objective in recipients’ athletic programs and that – as courts have long recognized in cases involving sex-separate athletic teams – fairness in competition may be particularly important for recipients in some sports, grade and education levels, and levels of competition,” the proposed rule reads.

“The administration seems to think that they can find a way to let biological males play women’s sports and still ensure fairness,” Braceras said. “But all the talk of fairness sort of misses the point because Title IX isn’t a ‘fairness in sports’ law. It’s an equal opportunity law concerned with making sure that females have opportunities previously denied them.

“So even if there were a way to ensure a level playing field when biological men participate in women’s sports – and there is not – the proposed rule would contradict the statute’s equal opportunity mandate,” said Braceras. “That’s because the world of competitive sport is a zero-sum game in which some athletes make the team and others do not.”

The Office of Management and Budget says the broader rule change to Title IX will be finalized in May 2024. Chalkboard previously reported that the timeline had been pushed for the athletic rule until March 2024. 

For Braceras, the timing is more than just bureaucratic delays. 

“I believe that the administration is deliberately delaying releasing the final rule for as long as it can so that the opponents of the rule can’t formally challenge the administration’s actions in court,” Braceras said.  

21 COMMENTS

    • The women need to start their own private leagues and the money will follow.
      Don’t play for the government and there rules do private leagues and invite who you want.

    • “While sex is irrelevant to academics”….

      Talk about shooting yourself in the foot before even get started. Not only do males and females have widely varying preferences in areas of study, women tend heavily toward average intelligence. As you work your way towards the edges of the IQ Bell Curve women become very scarce relative to men – yet we have to pretend that there should be numerically equal representation in ‘prestige’ professions that require exceptionally high IQ, career focus and dedication. This is also why Chess is largely sex segregated.

      And decades ago I actually competed in one of the Region IV sports that men and women compete directly against each other. Any guesses?

      Three position RIFLERY. (Boooo hissssss, guns baaaaad!) Girls often topped the overall .177 air rifle standings, but pointing that out probably would conflict with gun control initiatives.

  1. Tranny power is going a long way to correcting the evils of white cis-gendered males. The intersectional/intersexual alphabet movement is the solution to white supremacy aided by the migration of peoples of color. The world is changing for the better. Everyone can unite beneath the rainbow banner of inclusive non white cis males.

  2. My Mom is 85 years old. She loved basketball when she was in high school. She was on the team and their gym was used for regularly scheduled games. But if any boys wanted to use the gym for fun, the girls regularly scheduled game was stopped to allow the boys to use the gym. Even though the game was scheduled, it didn’t matter, girls games were not important to the school so the girls couldn’t play.
    Title IX changed this. No longer did girls have to stop their game to allow boys to use the gym.
    But now boys just have to say they are girls, and they can take over teams. No longer are their girls sports. Now it’s transgender teams or boys teams (trans boys are welcome to join, but are usually not capable of making the boys teams).
    My Mom is still alive and very much into sports still. She is very sad at this turn of events, after working so hard to push Title IX in our schools.
    So where do we stand? Trans girls have had a huge impact on many sports – weight lifting, running, etc. with times that are far better than girls.
    When did trans rights trump every single other person’s rights?
    It’s policies like this that push me away from being a Democrat, after years of being a solid Democrat.

  3. You buried the lede. I should read “Biden repeals Title IX and Destroys Women’s Parity in Sport”. What a jerk! No one in the Democratic Party should pretend they support women. This is a war on women.

  4. It continues only as long as the actual females consent to compete with the fake females. No competition and it goes away. These boys and men are bullies who can’t make it in male sports, so they victimize females and steal what is rightfully theirs. No one has anything against them having their own leagues/conferences, etc., to compete within.
    Women should have, long ago, fought against fake females in sports just as blacks fought against black-face entertainers. Instead they either initially embraced or tolerated this vile movement and now they are reaping the whirlwind of their tolerance. Actually, we are all reaping the whirlwind of tolerance.

  5. Any law like this clearly discriminates against real girls and women, thus proving once again that everyone is equal except that some are more equal than others.

  6. It’s not discrimination. They are welcome to compete on the team of their biological sex, just like everyone else. How is that unfair? It’s pretty cut and dry. People just want special treatment to match their special feelings. If a trans athlete is uncomfortable being on the team with their biological sex, then they should avoid competitive sports. There are plenty of coed recreational leagues out there.

  7. Wiping out athletics for women/girls IS the intent.
    Leftist are doing everything they can to destroy all relationships and institutions. Conventional relationships (religion, family, friend) have been on the chopping block for ages, but until the transgenderism crap became mainstream, there was no real way to destroy the relationship between teammates. (and competitors).
    .
    Why? Because in the world of the leftists, there is only one relationship of significance. It is between the people and the all-powerful-State. All other relationships must be corrupted in order to get there.
    .
    Allowing men to compete against women is just one more step toward that goal.

  8. Next ………age- “ identity “?
    species- “ identity “
    One mental illness shouldn’t be treated differently and discriminated against than others.
    On the other side of their mouth they say mental illness should be a red flag against someone’s 2nd amendment rights. To an extent I agree. However……don’t discriminate.

  9. I suppose since he has no chance of being re-elected, they’re going all out to destroy America. Get ready folks, this is just the beginning.

  10. Hmmm…I have an idea.

    To make things ‘equal’ within the opportunistic and mentally ill male versus the actual female contestants within ANY female contest, allow the actual females to be armed with bladed weapons or firearms, as the case may be, whereas the opportunistic and mentally ill male contestants have nothing save their opportunistic intentions or mentally ill beliefs.

    A ‘fairer’ contest I could not imagine.

    • I can think of a few:

      International House of Fruitcakes

      The Chop Shop

      Alphabet Soup

      The Kid Kut Klub

      Abby Normal’s House of Fun

      You Never Wanted To Have Kids, Right?

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