Obama administration says Title IX anti-sex discrimination law covers transgender people
WASHINGTON, D.C., May 2, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- In the latest of a series of moves to promote the transgender political agenda through the use of executive powers, the Obama administration has said that the federal Title IX civil rights provisions intended to stop discrimination against women programs apply to transgender people.
Designed to prevent discrimination on the “basis of sex,” Title IX funding – formally known as Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education – came into being in 1972. The funding has been used to prevent sexism in hiring, college athletics, and all other areas where sex discrimination could potentially occur.
Transgender advocates proclaimed the administration's decision as a major move. Harper Jean Tobin, Policy Director for the National Center for Transgender Equality, said that the "announcement is a breakthrough for transgender students, who too often face hostility at school and refusal by school officials to accept them for who they truly are."
According to Peter Sprigg, senior fellow for policy studies at the Family Research Council, while "we certainly agree that all students should be protected against all forms of sexual violence or sexual harassment, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, to extend a generalized protection against 'discrimination' based on these categories is an action with no foundation in federal statutory law."
"Neither the Congress which adopted the Civil Rights Act in 1964, nor the one which adopted Title IX, had this as any part of its legislative intent," Sprigg continued. "When the EEOC interpreted the Civil Rights Act in this way in 2012, and the Department of Education announced such an interpretation of Title IX this week, they were infringing upon the constitutional power of Congress to write the laws."
Sprigg says a "particular" risk of "applying Title IX regulations to 'gender identity'" is "chaos in school sports, where the inherent biological differences between the sexes have always been understood to justify sports teams separated by sex."
For years, the administration has argued that "sex" is an elastic term, and thus acceptance of one's "gender" – how one feels, as opposed to one's biology – must be part of federal policy. For example, in 2012, the administration issued a ruling stating that gender discrimination in the workplace includes alleged discrimination against transgender people.
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At the time, Alliance Defense Fund legal counsel Dale Showengerdt told LifeSiteNews that "there have been literally dozens of attempts to amend Title VII of the Civil Rights Act to include transgender discrimination and each of those has failed uniformly."
"It’s really an extraordinary power grab," Showengerdt said.
The Justice Department’s Office of Civil Rights sent a letter to the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith (UAFS) advising that it should allow a 38-year-old biological male to use the female restrooms.
The administration has also said that the Fair Housing Act "may still" cover gay and lesbian Americans, as well as transgender people, although the text of the law does not include either group.
Specifically, the administration states that "if the housing denial is because of the prospective tenant's non-conformity with gender stereotypes, it may constitute illegal discrimination on the basis of sex under the Fair Housing Act." It ruled anyone who accepts federal Section 8 funds must rent his/her home to transgender applicants, despite the landlord's moral objections.
Similarly, the administration said that federal health care programs and those health programs that receive federal funding would not be able to treat transgender people differently, or risk losing funding – something advocates say will pave the way for a federal guarantee that transgender patients will receive sex-change operations.
The implications for the Title IX decision could be enormous for college athletes. It is not known if the administration will enforce the new right for men becoming women to play women's sports, despite the physical risks to female athletes, or if male athletes will be forced to play with women becoming men.
Other uncertainties include restroom facilities, showers, and dorm housing. Several states, including Colorado and California, have already said teenagers claiming gender uncertainty may use the bathrooms of the opposite sex. Many universities have co-ed floors in dorm halls, as well as co-ed rooms; the question of whether students will face punishment for not wanting to room with transgender students has not been answered.
Former Senator Evan Bayh, D-IN, whose father Birch Bayh was a major figure in the original Title IX legislation, as well as two men's sports college coaches, did not respond to LifeSiteNews' requests for comment.