Moms for Liberty, Young America's Foundation, GOP states sue feds for Title IX gender identity rule

"Our children go to public school. They do not belong to public school," Moms for Liberty co-founders say.

Published: May 14, 2024 3:33pm

Moms for Liberty, the Young America's Foundation and attorneys general of Kansas, Wyoming, Utah and Alaska have joined the stampede of litigation against the Biden administration's Title IX regulation that adds gender identity to the law on sex-based discrimination in education.

They filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday afternoon alleging the regulation infringes on the First Amendment rights of students and teachers by forcing them to "use incorrect pronouns, affirm queer theory" and self-censor about "their physical safety and privacy" in sex-segregated spaces and athletics to avoid harassment investigations.

It also violates the constitutional rights of parents, "who are entitled to raise their children to share certain values and beliefs to direct the upbringing of their children, by requiring conformity to the federal government’s views on biology and so-called gender identity," the non-state plaintiffs' lawyers at the Southeastern Legal Foundation said in a press release.

Republican-led states from Oklahoma to Florida have already pledged to ignore the regulation, potentially threatening federal funding of educational institutions in their states. Gender-critical feminists joined with conservatives to immediately denounce the regulation and threaten litigation.

"If a boy insists on using a girl’s bathroom or locker room, the daughters of Moms for Liberty members must accept his presence and cannot even express their concern or disagreement," SLF said. Its co-counsel is the Mountain States Legal Foundation.

"Or if college students like the members of Young America’s Foundation want to host events and activities discussing gender ideology, transgenderism, and de-transitioning—as they have in the past—they will now think twice and self-censor for fear of punishment," the group said.

The lawsuit additionally alleges the Department of Education violated the Administrative Procedure Act by unilaterally changing the definition of "sex" in Title IX, a "major question" reserved for Congress under Supreme Court precedent. 

The states argue the regulation violates the Constitution's spending clause, also usurping congressional power. Other claims focus on the Fifth, 10th and 14th amendments and Title IX's text itself.

"Parents have had enough with the Biden Administration," SLF Executive Director Kimberly Hermann said in the press release, putting the lawsuit in a larger context.

"They’ve been investigated by the FBI" for speaking out at school board meetings, "they’ve been stonewalled over open records requests" for the feds' secret contacts preceding those directives," and now they’re being told that they can’t raise their children to hold certain views about biology and gender," she said.

Their college-bound children are then "met with constant censorship from peers and administrators," Hermann said, alleging the regulation will "further weaponize the campus thought police."

"By trying to force schools to discipline students for not using preferred pronouns, the Biden-Harris Administration has decided to take direct aim at speech and free expression,"  MSLF General Counsel William Trachman said.

"Our children go to public school. They do not belong to public school," Moms for Liberty co-founders Tiffany Justice and Tina Descovich said. "Gender ideology is a bald-faced lie" and it's "unconscionable" for the feds to force "everyone in college across the nation to repeat and live the lie that men can be women," YAF General Counsel Victor Bernson said.

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