The Department of Education announced in June of 2022, on the 50th anniversary of Title IX, that it was rewriting the landmark civil rights law to now threaten the opportunities for girls and women that the law has created.
As the transgender movement seeks to impose its will in all walks of public life, 23 states have passed laws banning boys who claim to be female from participating on girls' teams. However, President Joe Biden's new Title IX could wipe away all those laws.
Under the proposed changes, any school that wanted to limit girls' sports participation to biological girls only would have to apply to the DOE for permission. In their application, schools would have to prove (1) that having a girls-only team would be substantially related to the achievement of an important educational objective, and (2) that they could minimize harm to the students whose opportunity to participate on the team consistent with their gender identity was being denied.
"The industrial complex here in Washington, DC, with all the interest groups and things, they really make a lot of demands of this administration, and their demands are met usually," Meg Kilgannon, the Family Research Council's senior fellow for education studies, said on Washington Watch Wednesday.
A report at SaveServices.org in late August said the DOE has yet to send its regulatory plans to the Office of Budget and Management for review – a process that could take up to four months. Some speculate the delay is a response to intense criticism of the proposed Title IX changes during a public comment period. Opposition has come from liberals and conservatives alike.
But Kilgannon suggests there could be a different motivation for the delay. "By delaying it, the effects of the rule will be felt sort of after early voting has started in 2024," she told show host Tony Perkins.
The schools that are in favor of the proposed changes are "already doing it," she added. "The places they're going to have to target for compliance … I think that might be part of the reason they're delaying."
Maryland parents take school district to court
Education remains the primary battleground in the gender ideology movement. For example, a legal fight is ongoing in Montgomery County, Maryland, where parents want the right to "opt out" of what a lawsuit calls "extreme ideology" regarding gender identity and sexuality.
The school district has refused the right to opt out, and now it's being sued by Christian and Muslim parents alike.
Last fall the school board introduced new "inclusivity" books that promote controversial ideology around transgenderism and focus excessively on children's romantic feelings, Fox News reported. "This material is part of a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion sort of immersive curriculum," Kilgannon explained.
She highlighted one of those books which tasks 3- and 4-year-olds with searching for images from a word list that includes "intersex flag," "drag queen," "underwear," "leather," and the name of a celebrated LGBTQ activist and sex worker.
"Last night I was in Montgomery County," Kilgannon explained, "and one of the parents described a book that her daughter had brought home. It was called 'My Maddie,' and her daughter was in third grade and she brought it home because her sister's name was Maddie. But this book is about a mother who's becoming a daddy or a daddy who's becoming a mother. They talked about kissing my Maddie's cheek, [which] now has whiskers.
"The parents want to opt out of this," Kilgannon added.
A lower-court judge spent "60 pages" talking about how the book did not impact the religious freedom of parents, Kilgannon said. Now the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has the case on an expedited hearing schedule.
"We're very excited and [we] think that the court may be sympathetic to the parents on this," she said.