By Raymond Wolfe
Twenty states this week filed a lawsuit to block radical transgender policies by the Biden administration that seek to redefine federal sex discrimination protections to mandate transgender pronoun use and allow biological males to compete on girls’ sports teams, among other things.
Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery filed the complaint on Monday against the Department of Education (DOE) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) with the U.S. District Court in Knoxville, Fox News reported. A statement from Slatery’s office said that the lawsuit “seeks to stop the Biden Administration from enforcing new, expansive, and unlawful interpretations of federal antidiscrimination laws.”
“This case is about two federal agencies changing law, which is Congress’ exclusive prerogative,” Slatery said. “The agencies simply do not have that authority.”
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and West Virginia have all joined the case.
The 20 states’ suit takes aim at recent guidance announced by the DOE and the EEOC, following an executive order by Joe Biden in January announcing his administration’s intent “to fully enforce Title VII and other laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.”
The order also directed all federal agency heads to “review all existing orders, regulations, guidance documents, policies, programs, or other agency actions” in accordance with the Biden administration’s pro-LGBT platform.
In June, the head of the EEOC announced new guidance purporting to apply sex-based employment protections to “gender identity,” including with regard to pronoun use, bathroom access, and dress code. The DOE issued similar guidance the same day, declaring that the 1972 federal civil rights law Title IX applies to students seeking to use facilities or play on sports teams designated for the opposite sex in schools that receive federal funding.
The agencies’ policies went “far beyond what the statutory text, regulatory requirements, judicial precedent, and the Constitution permit,” the 20 states argue in their lawsuit.
“The Department and EEOC claim that their interpretations are required by the Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton County,” a much-criticized decision last year that held that firing employees for being transgender constitutes “sex discrimination.”
“But Bostock was a narrow decision,” the complaint continues, adding that the ruling “did not address the myriad other forms of alleged discrimination” identified by the EEOC as “prohibited,” such as use of pronouns according to biological sex.
“All of this, together with the threat of withholding educational funding in the midst of a pandemic, warrants this lawsuit,” Slatery said.
Late last month, more than 3,000 medical professionals also sued the Biden administration, contending that administration’s “transgender mandate” violates federal law protecting conscience rights, the Christian Post reported. The American College of Pediatricians, the Catholic Medical Association, and an individual doctor filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Chattanooga last Thursday.
Defendants include Biden health secretary Xavier Becerra, head of the Department of Health and Human Services, who has repeatedly moved to force doctors to perform “sex change” surgeries, regardless of conscience objections.
“This case challenges whether the federal government can make medical doctors perform gender-transition surgeries, prescribe gender-transition drugs, and speak and write about patients according to gender identity, rather than biological reality—regardless of doctors’ medical judgment or conscientious objections,” the lawsuit states.