The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday concern Title IX – part of the Education Amendments in 1972 that prevents sex discrimination in any educational institution receiving funding from the federal government. Fifty years after Title IX became law, the Biden administration proposed a new rule that would gut the protections for women and girls guaranteed by Title IX.
No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.
The Biden administration’s new rule will change Title IX drastically by extending the protections originally meant for biological women and girls to biological males who claim to be females. Sarah Parshall Perry has four chief problems with the new Biden rule.
1. The proposed rule expands the definition of “sex” to include “gender
What does this mean for American school girls and young women? It means that any K-12 school, college, or university receiving direct or indirect federal funding would have to open its bathrooms, locker rooms, housing accommodations, and any other sex-separated educational program or offering to someone who is biologically of the opposite sex.
2. The proposed rule will eliminate due process protections for students
accused of sexual harassment or sexual assault.
After thorough consideration of over 124,000 public comments and in response to a growing crisis of sexual violence in education, the department under the previous administration issued a Title IX rule in 2020 that clarified that sexual harassment, including sexual assault, constituted unlawful sex discrimination.
That rule provided important provisions ensuring due process in campus Title IX grievance proceedings that protect free speech and academic freedom.
Among other things, the 2020 rule requires colleges to provide live hearings and allow both the accused and complainant student’s advisers to cross-examine parties and witnesses involved. Institutions must also presume that those accused of sexual misconduct are innocent prior to the investigative and decision-making process….
3. The proposed rule will install a “heckler’s veto” at schools that are federally funded by forcing students, teachers, and professors to toe the line on a woke, sexual orthodoxy or be faced with a Title IX federal complaint.
Title IX complaints filed by hypersensitive students claiming to have felt sexually harassed by otherwise innocent speech made by professors and students were rising prior to the department’s 2020 rule.
Currently, campus speech – such as discussion of sexual issues – is not considered harassing just because it is “pervasive”; and let’s face it, debates and discussions about sex and gender tend to be fairly pervasive on college campuses.
To constitute verbal sexual harassment, the speech must not only be pervasive, it must also be severe enough in nature to deny or limit a “person’s ability to participate in or benefit from the recipient's education program or activity.” …
4. The proposed rule quietly removes protections for religious institutions that adhere to a traditional belief on sexuality, gender, and marriage by eliminating previous protections that were reaffirmed as recently as 2020.
When the Obama administration issued guidance in 2010 that included LGBTQ people within Title IX’s sex discrimination definitions, many religious schools began to seek Title IX’s statutory religious exemption.
These institutions saw the writing on the wall with the Obama administration’s aggressive expansion of Title IX’s application and sought assurances they wouldn’t be forced – in violation of their sincerely held religious tenets and teachings – to hire same-sex couples who live together openly, to open single-sex dorms to members of the opposite sex, or to fling wide their bathrooms for individuals whose subjective self-gender identity runs counter to their biology….
Perry concluded that “the Biden administration is pursuing a radical agenda and proposing a change to our laws and to our educational system that will do irreversible and long-lasting harm to women, girls, the wrongly accused, our faith institutions, and freedom of speech.” She urges all Americans to act to defeat the new Title IX rule.