Biden administration, Republicans fight over transgender policies

by ian

The Biden administration and Republican political leaders are going toe-to-toe over policies regarding the treatment of transgender people.

On April 19, the Biden administration unveiled new regulations for Title IX which specifically sought to protect LGBTQ students. The rules related to education, but critics at the time said it could expand to things like protecting bathrooms based on gender identity. Recently, this concern seems to have become a reality.

The U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission released new harassment guidance yesterday making gender identity a protected class. Under the new rule, employers who fail to use workers’ preferred pronouns or prevent employees from using restrooms that correspond with their gender identity will be punished for engaging in prohibited harassment.

It also changes how schools respond to sex-based discrimination and harassment under those new Title IX guidelines.

The department specifically cited clauses of sex-based discrimination under the Title VII civil rights law, saying:

Sex-based discrimination under Title VII includes employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Accordingly, sex-based harassment includes harassment based on sexual orientation or gender identity, including how that identity is expressed.

The Democrat-heavy agency approved the rules on Friday. But it was swiftly met with Republican resistance. At least nine Republican-led states, along with multiple different conservative groups, filed a flurry of lawsuits just hours after that new harassment guidance was released.

Texas filed suit on its own, while other states joined \in other legal actions.

Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana and Idaho combined forces to argue that Title IX defines “sex” as biological sex – making these new regulations unlawful. A lawsuit filed by Alabama, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina argues the same while adding complaints about how broad the definition of sex-based harassment becomes under the new rules.

Overall, these officials argue that these new policies would negatively impact women and girls as well as free speech rights.

Louisiana Attorney General Liz Murrill called the effort “federal government overreach…of a degree and dimension like no other.” Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr says that his state took action “to defend women’s rights to fair competition.”

A spokesman for the Education Department contended that these laws are meant to protect every person from experiencing “sex discrimination in federally funded education.”