Senate Republicans: Title IX proposals erase 50 years of progress

Among their list of arguments, lawmakers say Biden's proposed changes to Title IX create disadvantages for women in sports.

“The current Administration has seized our nation’s primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, to enact political, social and cultural change, with no regard for the harmful repercussions or the rule of law.”

That’s according to a letter signed by 13 Republican senators and 21 Republican members of Congress on Sept. 12 blasting President Biden’s proposed expansions to Title IX, which prohibits sex discrimination in K-12 schools and colleges. The proposed expansions would protect LGBTQ and pregnant students from discrimination.

Among their list of arguments, they’re worried that the Biden Administration’s changes to Title IX would create unequal opportunities for student-athletes, particularly women.

“I remain committed to ensuring every student has a safe and respectful environment that provides them the ability to reach their full potential,” said Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan in a statement, one of the 13 Republican senators to sign the letter. “Part of that commitment means preserving the ability for female athletes to engage in competitive sports that do not create implicit disadvantages before competition even begins.”

According to the letter, the proposed regulations erase 50 years of progress made toward equal opportunity for women in education all for the sake of progressive politics.

“…this Proposed Rule will force women to sacrifice, by allowing men to take athletic opportunities, team participation, trophies, awards, scholarships, and more on the altar of progressive gender ideology.”

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This topic has been held to the flame for quite some time now. Several Republican politicians, including former President Donald Trump, have advocated for the restriction of transgender students’ participation in sports.

In January, Trump promised he would ban transgender women from sports if he were to be re-elected. “We will ban men from participating in women’s sports,” he announced during a rally in Conroe, Texas. “So ridiculous.”

He then commented on Lia Thomas, a transgender swimmer from the University of Pennsylvania who broke multiple records at a meet in Ohio.

Congressional Democrats, on the other hand, have applauded Biden’s proposed regulations. In a separate letter sent on the same day as the Republican-issued letter, Democrats said they’re optimistic about the expansion’s potential to end discrimination once and for all.

“We hope the explicit inclusion of LGBTQIA+ students in the Department’s articulation of Title IX’s protections will help address the recent onslaught of discriminatory legislative attacks on transgender and nonbinary students,” the letter reads.

In addition, they ask for further instruction in several areas:

  • Clarifying and expanding the scope of Title IX protections.
  • Clarifying schools’ obligations regarding sex-based harassment.
  • Clarifying changes to the school grievance process.
  • Further instructions on how to protect pregnant and parenting students.
  • Clarifying the protections for LGBTQIA+ students.

“We urge you to quickly finalize this proposed rule to restore, clarify, and expand Title IX protections against sexual harassment and other forms of sex discrimination for students and employees,” the Democrats wrote.

Yet, opponents believe the proposed regulations cause more harm than good.

“This proposal would harm women and girls, violate First Amendment free speech, religious freedom and parental rights, and promotes abortion,” reads the letter from Republicans. “The Department of Education should promptly withdraw the rule and instead focus on upholding existing law and regulations consistent with our law.”

Despite what lawmakers are saying about the issue, the majority of Americans oppose allowing trans athletes to participate in female sports, according to a June poll from The Washington Post and the University of Maryland.

55% of respondents oppose it in high school sports and 58% oppose it in college and professional sports. Nearly 30% said transgender women and girls should be allowed to participate at both levels.

Micah Ward
Micah Ward
Micah Ward is a University Business staff writer. He recently earned his master’s degree in Journalism at the University of Alabama. He spent his time during graduate school working on his master’s thesis. He’s also a self-taught guitarist who loves playing folk-style music.

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