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Final Title IX regulations will turn back the clock on female sports, critics say


NASHVILLE (BP) – A little over a week after the women’s NCAA basketball championship viewer ratings crushed that of the men’s, critics are saying that the Biden Administration’s new set of Title IX regulations will eventually cripple women’s sports.

Any measure allowing schools to prevent biological males from participating in athletics against females is noticeably, yet unsurprisingly, absent from the recent changes to Title IX.

The Final Rule under Title IX says it will work to “protect against all sex-based harassment and discrimination,” “promote accountability and fairness” and “empower and support students and families.” That includes provisions in place for LGBTQ+ students and changing methods by which to adjudicate claims of sexual harassment and assault claims on school campuses.

Regulations about sports participation “is still ongoing,” said the U.S. Department of Education.

“The Department proposed amendments to its athletics regulations in April 2023, and received over 150,000 public comments, which by law must be carefully considered,” it reads. An unofficial version of the final regulations has been made available.

The regulations come during a nationwide debate over the impact of transgender athletes on female sports. On April 16, an appeals court ruled against a West Virginia transgender sports ban.

The Biden administration’s actions have placed it in opposition to Title IX’s historical meaning and endangered its accomplishments, said Hannah Daniel, director of public policy for the SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

“After 50 years of working to advance professional and educational opportunities for women, Title IX has been co-opted by the sexual revolution,” she said. “Rather than protecting spaces where women can flourish, achieve and compete, the Biden administration has chosen to prioritize the advancement of sexual orientation and gender identity politics. Southern Baptists believe our biological realities cannot be ignored and any attempt to do so will inevitably bring harm to women and our society.”

John Litzler, director of public policy for Texas Baptists’ Christian Life Commission, said the White House is overstepping its bounds.

“It is neither the judicial branch, which has the right to interpret Title IX, nor is it the legislative branch, which has the right to rewrite Title IX,” he said. “If they’re going to change the definition of discrimination on the basis of sex, that should come from one of the other branches of government, not from the president.”

Since there are religious exemptions for religious schools, “our concern is not so much with our affiliated institutions, but the religious liberties of Christians on public school campuses,” Litzler said.

“The Biden administration’s radical redefinition of sex turns back the clock on equal opportunity for women, threatens student safety and privacy and undermines fairness in women’s sports,” said Rachel Rouleau, legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom.

“It is a slap in the face to women and girls who have fought long and hard for equal opportunities,” she said. “The administration continues to ignore biological reality, science and commonsense, and women are suffering as a result.

“The administration’s new regulation will have devastating consequences on the future of women’s sports, student privacy and parental rights, which is why Alliance Defending Freedom plans to take action to defend female athletes, as well as school districts, teachers, and students who will be gravely harmed by this unlawful government overreach.”

The final regulations become active on Aug. 1.