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Twenty states sue to block Biden sexual orientation, gender identity rules for schools

Suite challenges the U.S. Education Department and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission actions governing discrimination on basis of sex.

Updated: September 1, 2021 - 10:15pm

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Twenty states are suing the Biden administration to stop new regulations governing sex and gender discrimination in schools, calling the rules sweeping inventions of laws outside the constitutional process.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost joined other attorneys general in the lawsuit, which challenges the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s actions governing discrimination on the basis of sex.

“Rule by administrative overreach may seem convenient, but tossing the process our Constitution requires will inevitably trample the liberties of our most vulnerable,” Yost said. “I will always defend the rights of our citizens to be a part of the legislative process and work to stop the abuses of a recalcitrant administrative state determined to bypass them.”

Yost said the lawsuit challenges the USDOE's interpretation of Title IX, saying it applies not only to the discrimination on the basis of sex but also applies to nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Yost said the lawsuit does not question the policy, but rather the authority of the USDOE to make the interpretation.

The lawsuit also challenges what Yost called a recent interpretation of a Supreme Court ruling by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, saying the EEOC asserted power it does not have to redefine law.

In Bostock v. Clayton County, the Supreme Court ruled, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers may not fire employees based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Yost said the EEOC cannot issue rules and regulations under Title VII, but the commission interpretation attempts to expand the ruling to mandate employers adopt practices regarding pronouns, access to shared bathrooms, uniforms and other matters, Yost said in a news release.

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and West Virginia all joined Ohio in the lawsuit.