You are here

Attorney General O’Connor Opposes U.S. Department of Education’s Proposed Regulations Redefining “Sex”

OKLAHOMA CITY -  Attorney General John O’Connor objected to the U.S. Department of Education’s proposed Title IX regulations in several formal comment letters.  In the proposed regulations, Biden seeks to redefine “sex” for purposes of Title IX to mean “gender identity,” which threatens to undermine decades of advancement for women in schools, athletics, and the like.

Title IX, enacted in 1972 as a major initiative for scholarships and careers for women athletes, protects people from discrimination based on sex and applies to schools, local and state educational agencies, and other institutions that receive federal financial assistance from the Department. Recently, however, the Biden Administration has proposed a new 700 page-rule that would turn Title IX on its head by, among other things, elevating subjective gender identity over objective biological sex and removing due process for accused students.  AG O’Connor joined with numerous other states on several official comment letters opposing this radical restructuring of American schools. 

“Education Secretary Miguel Cardona is leading Biden’s lawless effort to destroy women’s sports and other opportunities,” said Attorney General O’Connor. “Why don’t the unelected agency bureaucrats leave these important policy matters to the peoples’ elected representatives in Congress?”

“Biden’s new attempt to re-interpret Title IX will undermine its very purpose,” Attorney General O’Connor said. “I am ready to defend Title IX and do everything I can to protect the rule of law.”

The comment letters point to several predictable violations of constitutional rights that may ensue if the proposed regulations become law:

  • State-run public colleges would have to compel speech in violation of the First Amendment by requiring the use of a student or teacher’s preferred and subjective pronouns;
  • School administrators may feel forced − or empowered − to insert themselves into constitutionally protected family affairs and to lock parents out or keep them in the dark in relation to critical parental decisions such as medical care for their children; and
  • Schools would be forced to open single-sex locker rooms and bathrooms to members of both sexes, as well as athletic teams.

Last year, the Department issued a Title IX “guidance” that pressured schools to do just that: allow boys to compete on girls’ teams, prohibit single-sex locker rooms and bathrooms, and force students and teachers to use subjective and arbitrary pronouns.

At Attorney General O’Connor’s urging, in a lawsuit along with 19 other States, a federal court in the Eastern District of Tennessee stopped the Department from enforcing the guidance July 17, 2022.

Subsequently, The Department issued proposed the 700-page Title IX regulations and invited public comment for 60 days.