Lawmakers are saying the Biden administration’s proposed Title IX regulations on sexuality and gender would push schools to fold on their beliefs for financial aid.
A letter to the U.S. Department of Education from several Republican lawmakers, led by Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.), warns colleges and other schools must comply with proposed Title IX regulations on sexual identity and gender or lose federal funding.
“[C]olleges would be forced to choose between losing their federal funding and contradicting their beliefs by adopting policies and curricula that includes ideological teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity,” the letter reads.
The letter encourages the administration to rescind its proposed Title IX regulations, which seek to broaden Title IX’s sex discrimination protection to apply to gender and sexuality, especially for LGBTQ+ individuals.
The Department issued a notice of interpretation earlier this year, explaining it will expand Title IX’s “prohibition on discrimination on the basis of sex to include: (1) discrimination based on sexual orientation; and (2) discrimination based on gender identity.”
Such an interpretation would mean schools must comply with pro-LGBTQ+ policies in sports, housing, locker rooms and bathrooms to keep receiving federal funds. Misusing a student’s “preferred pronouns” or letting biological males use female restrooms, for example, would jeopardize a school’s access to federal funding.
Critics argue this expanded interpretation goes well beyond Title IX’s original purpose.
“The Department’s attempt to redefine ‘sex’ by regulatory fiat, and to include sexual orientation and gender identity under that term, perverts and undermines the original purpose of the law,” the letter argues.
The Department of Education proposed the new regulations, claiming current regulations did not “best fulfill” the Title IX standards set in 1972. It proposed the current regulations be amended to “provide greater clarity regarding the scope of sex discrimination, including…sexual orientation, and gender identity.”
The expansion would not only affect higher education institutions, but elementary, secondary, and postsecondary schools that receive federal funding. And noncompliant schools could lose funding for a variety of resources, including federally-funded school lunch programs, the letter notes.
Lawmakers also added the regulations would pose obstacles for faith-based organizations.
“Under Title IX, faith-based organizations are entitled to a waiver from the law’s requirements in order to preserve their ability to act according to sincerely held beliefs,” the letter states. “We worry that any attempt to impose these unnecessary regulations would result in religious organizations being punished for holding beliefs that differ from the extreme sex and gender ideology held by this administration.”
Republican lawmakers warn that institutions would be forced to schools to choose between money and their beliefs.
“The proposed rule is destined to hurt countless students and institutions seeking high-quality Education,” the letter added.