Noem threatens Biden with lawsuit if Title IX funding is cut over transgender law

USDA said last month it would interpret Title IX funding "to include discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity."

Updated: June 2, 2022 - 4:23pm

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South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said she would sue the Biden administration if they cut federal funding in states that have banned transgender athletes from participating in sports.

The United States Department of Agriculture said last month it would interpret Title IX funding "to include discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity."

"USDA is committed to administering all its programs with equity and fairness, and serving those in need with the highest dignity. A key step in advancing these principles is rooting out discrimination in any form – including discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity," said Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack in a statement. "At the same time, we must recognize the vulnerability of the LGBTQI+ communities and provide them with an avenue to grieve any discrimination they face. We hope that by standing firm against these inequities we will help bring about much-needed change."

Noem signed Senate Bill 46 into law in February, which requires student athletes to compete in sports based on their sex at birth. The governor accused President Joe Biden of "holding lunch money for poor Americans hostage in pursuit of his radical agenda."

"He is insisting that we allow biological males to compete in girls' sports or else lose funding for SNAP and school lunch programs," Noem said in a statement issued Thursday. "South Dakota will continue to defend basic fairness so that our girls can compete and achieve. I would remind President Biden that we have defeated him in litigation before and are ready to do so again. Mr. President, we'll see you in court."

Noem refers to a U.S. Supreme Court decision issued in January that struck down the Biden administration's vaccination mandate for private businesses. The lawsuit was filed by South Dakota and 26 other states.

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