Biden expansion of Title IX to add LGBT discrimination sparks debate, gets over 200K comments

President Joe Biden in the Oval Office in Washington, D.C., on May 5, 2022.
President Joe Biden in the Oval Office in Washington, D.C., on May 5, 2022. | Adam Schultz

A federal rule scheduled to redefine Title IX's ban on sex discrimination to include discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity has received over 200,000 public comments in the two months following its publication in the Federal Register. 

The Biden administration first announced its intention to make changes to the landmark civil rights law banning sex discrimination in education programs on June 23, the 50th anniversary of its implementation.

The U.S. Department of Education compiled a fact sheet summarizing the changes it intended to make to Title IX, which included the effort to "protect LGBTQI+ students from discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex characteristics." 

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Specifically, the regulations would "make clear that preventing someone from participating in school programs and activities consistent with their gender identity would cause harm in violation of Title IX, except in some limited areas set out in the statute or regulations." This portion of the proposed changes to Title IX has caused concern among critics who disagree with such an interpretation of the law. 

The administration submitted the notice of proposed rulemaking outlining the changes to the Federal Register on July 12. As of Tuesday morning, the proposal has received over 210,594 public comments.

Several commenters threatened to file lawsuits against the proposed rule, saying it uses "non-discrimination laws in an illegal and unconstitutional way." 

"This proposed rule is a lawless interpretation and is a complete overreach by the Department of Education," a common form comment reads. 

Many fear that policies requiring schools to allow trans-identified biological males to compete on women's sports teams are contradictory to Title IX's intention to provide equal opportunities for women in education. 

"This proposal violates genuine women's rights and attempts to silence free speech," another comment from July 25 reads. 

The administration maintained that it would "issue a separate notice of proposed rulemaking to address whether and how the Department should amend the Title IX regulations to address students' eligibility to participate on a particular male or female athletics team." 

The Defense of Freedom Institute, a conservative advocacy group opposed to the changes, created four separate form emails concerned Americans can send to the U.S. Department of Education. The emails focus on the regulations' impact on free speech, due process, women's sports and parents' rights. All emails ask the Biden administration to withdraw the rule. 

"The Biden administration's efforts to shoehorn its radical woke agenda into Title IX would have far-reaching consequences for our nation," said Defense of Freedom Institute President and Co-Founder Robert S. Eidel.

"From stamping out parental rights in classrooms and forcing women to compete against men in sports, to eliminating due process protections for students accused of sexual misconduct, the Biden administration is weaponizing and distorting this important federal law. The American people understand this, they are alarmed, and they are rightly fighting back."

The Defense of Freedom Institute has compiled a list highlighting what it views as the "Dirty Dozen Defects" with the proposed changes to Title IX. The organization warned that the Title IX rule "tramples parental rights in K-12" education by requiring schools to accept a child's stated gender identity without parental consent and "threatens free speech and academic freedom" by punishing those who fail to address a trans-identified student by their preferred pronouns.

The Defense of Freedom Institute's concerns extends to how colleges address claims of sexual harassment and Title IX violations.

"Biden's Title IX proposal allows for schools to use the 'single-investigator' model, meaning that schools can use the same school official as the investigator, prosecutor, judge, and jury in any TIX investigation and disciplinary hearing," the fact sheet noted. 

The Defense of Freedom Institute's form email devoted to concerns about women's sports cited the biological difference between men and women when characterizing policies allowing biological males who identify as females to compete in women's sports as unfair.

"Men and women and boys and girls have different physical characteristics. Because of those differences, men have advantages in certain competitive sporting events." 

The form email expressing concern about the guidance's impact on parental rights maintained that "the rules would make it discriminatory for schools to alert parents if their minor child asks for help getting an abortion, wants to transition to [the] other sex, or wants to use pronouns that do not correspond to the child's biological sex." 

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at:

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