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Biden admin finalizes Title IX rule changes to redefine sex discrimination

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Former secretary of education Betsy DeVos said Friday that the Biden administration’s finalized Title IX rule change has “gutted” five decades of protections for women and girls and replaced it with “radical gender theory.”

“The Biden administration’s radical rewrite of Title IX guts the half century of protections and opportunities for women and callously replaces them with radical gender theory, as Biden’s far-left political base demanded,” DeVos posted on X, formerly Twitter.

The Biden administration’s Department of Education has finalized its long-anticipated Title IX rule that expands the definition of sex discrimination to include gender identity and pregnancy.

Critics of the federal rule finalized Friday say that it rewrites the scope of the statute intended to prohibit sex discrimination at federally funded schools and institutions of higher learning. Proponents say the changes are necessary to protect all students.

A separate rule on transgender athletes has not yet been finalized.

The rule is slated to go into effect on Aug. 1. Critics say the Department of Education’s changes to gender identity protections rewrite sex-based protections for women as Congress intended.

In a video posted on X, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said he was proud to “advance the Department of Education’s work to clarify and build upon the legacy of Title IX” which has for more than 50 years “opened doors for generations of girls and women.”

Cardona said the final rules “advance the promise” that “no person should experience sex discrimination, sex-based harassment or sexual violence in federally funded education.”

DeVos said in a thread on X that the changes put women at risk.

“This regulation is an assault on women and girls. It makes it a federal requirement that boys be allowed in girls bathrooms in elementary schools,” DeVos wrote. “It makes it a federal requirement that men be allowed to play women’s sports, putting their safety, privacy and competitive opportunity at risk. And it makes it a federal requirement that feelings, not facts, dictate how Title IX is enforced.”

The 1,577-page notice of final rulemaking says the changes “provide greater clarity regarding: the definition of ‘sex-based harassment;’ the scope of sex discrimination, including recipients’ obligations not to discriminate based on sex stereotypes, sex characteristics, pregnancy or related conditions, sexual orientation, and gender identity; and recipients’ obligations to provide an educational environment free from discrimination on the basis of sex.”

“Additionally, these regulations aim to fulfill Title IX’s protection for students, teachers, and other employees in federally funded elementary schools and secondary schools and postsecondary institutions against all forms of sex discrimination, including sex-based harassment and sexual violence,” the notice of final rulemaking reads.

While the department sifted through over 240,000 comments in response to the proposed rulemaking, the agency did not make changes to scrutinized sections surrounding gender identity, which were targeted by Republican attorneys general and conservative organizations.

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

The athletic rule received hundreds of thousands of comments and is still under review by the Department. Critics say that would change the way women’s sports teams operate.

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