The nation’s largest Protestant Christian School Association is joining forces with Tennessee and 19 other Republican states to try to block a Biden administration executive order that aims to protect LGBTQ public school students from discrimination.
The Association of Christian Schools International, whose members include 2,000 schools and 60 colleges across the country, is authorized to intervene in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Knoxville by the attorneys general of Tennessee and 19 Republican States vs. US Department of Education.
The lawsuit seeks to prevent the department from passing rules that would prohibit schools that receive federal funding from discriminating against students based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.
The case is rooted in an executive order from Biden that came after a landmark June 2020 decision by the United States Supreme Court that expanded the legal definition of sex discrimination to include sexual orientation and gender identity. gender in employment situations.
Citing the High Court ruling, the Biden administration ordered federal agencies to enact rules specifically prohibiting sex discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The Department of Education, in turn, released “policy papers,” prohibiting such discrimination and promising enforcement action against violators, including the loss of federal funding for schools.
Former Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery III and his fellow Republican attorneys general in states that already had laws on the books that appeared to violate these guidelines, including laws prohibiting schools from allowing transgender youth to participate in girls’ sports and bar schools to allow transgender young people to use restrooms that match their identity, have cried foul.
They argued in the lawsuit that the Education Department acted unilaterally without giving states a say in the matter and that the Biden administration was trying to circumvent state laws and the power of the US Congress to enact federal laws.
The Association of Christian Schools International prohibits transgender women from participating in women’s athletics in all of its schools and colleges. The association argues in its intervening litigation that transgender women are bigger, stronger and more resilient than biological women and that the association’s female athletes will be unfairly disadvantaged if they are forced to compete against school teams. that include transgender women.
“Uneven playing field”
“Fifty years ago, Title IX of the Education Amendments paved the way for these athletes by ensuring that girls and women had the same opportunities to compete in interscholastic athletics as boys and men,” says the association litigation.
“But the U.S. Department of Education will limit those gains – and reduce the benefits of sport for girls – through its illegal reinterpretation of Title IX to allow biologically male boys to compete in girls’ athletic competitions if they claim a gender. feminine identity,” the lawsuit continues. “In doing so, the government places girls at a competitive disadvantage, increases their risk of injury, and creates an unfair playing field that denies girls the inherent benefits of athletics.”
In the litigation, the association argues that there are “physiological differences between the biological sexes” that create “physiological advantages” for biologically male athletes.
“No amount of testosterone suppression can eliminate male physiological benefits relevant to performance and safety,” the lawsuit states.
“Allowing men to compete in female or female sports competitions does not make it harder for girls and women to win; it makes victory over comparably talented and trained male athletes nearly impossible for girls and women in most sporting competitions, due to the inherent and biologically dictated differences between the sexes,” the commenter’s lawsuit continues.
“For female athletes who train hard to be the best they can be, the situation is neither fair nor safe,” the litigation states. “(New Department of Education rules) create an uneven playing field for female athletic teams from ACSI member schools by requiring them to compete against female athletic teams from other public schools that include biological males. .”
U.S. District Judge Charles Atchley Jr. earlier this year sided with Republican attorneys general in the first round of this legal battle by issuing an injunction that temporarily blocks enforcement of new Department of Justice rules. education.
Earlier this week, Atchley issued an order allowing ASCI to join the litigation. No trial date has been set.
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