(LifeSiteNews) – A coalition of 22 predominantly-Republican states is suing the Biden administration for making federal school lunch funding contingent on local acquiescence to left-wing gender ideology.
In May, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that the Food & Nutrition Service (FNS) would interpret Title IX, the 1972 law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of biological sex, to include sexual orientation and “gender identity,” which in practice means forcing schools to let males who identify as female into intimate facilities meant for actual girls, such as restrooms.
Failure to comply would risk a school’s qualification for the National School Lunch Program, which covers an estimated 100,000 schools and almost 30 million children.
UPI reported that Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia have joined in a lawsuit against the policy.
The suit contends that the Biden administration is misinterpreting both federal law and the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2020 ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, which concluded that “sex discrimination” in Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act should be interpreted to mean sexual orientation and gender identity, in addition to its original biological meaning.
While many conservatives and constitutionalists at the time objected to the ruling for extending Title VII far beyond its textual meaning and original intent, they also argued, and the Trump administration agreed, that it did not go as far as LGBT activists wanted. Justice Neil Gorsuch, who wrote the majority opinion in the case, said in it that it “does not prejudge any such question” about “sex-segregated bathrooms, locker rooms, and dress codes.”
“We all know the Biden administration is dead-set on imposing an extreme left-wing agenda on Americans nationwide,” said Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, who is co-leading the effort with Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery III. “But they’ve reached a new level of shamelessness with this ploy of holding up food assistance for low-income kids unless schools do the left’s bidding.”
“The Biden administration’s actions will inevitably result in regulatory chaos that threatens essential nutritional services to some of Indiana’s most vulnerable citizens,” Rokita added.