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WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) – President Joe Biden’s latest LGBT agenda item, tying school lunch funding for low-income students to sexual identity policies, is against the law according to 26 state attorneys general.

The new rule from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) also requires entities that disburse other nutritional assistance, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, to agree to not discriminate based on someone’s “gender identity.” Schools must “update their non-discrimination policies and signage to include prohibitions against discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation” or otherwise the institutions would lose their federal funding for lunch programs.  

In response, 26 state attorneys general wrote a letter, released on Tuesday, which explains that the USDA’s May 5 rule “imposes new—and unlawful—regulatory measures on state agencies and operators receiving federal financial assistance from the USDA.” Signatories include Tennessee’s Herb Slatery, Florida’s Ashley Moody and Indiana’s Todd Rokita.

The rule has drawn criticism, including from Florida Governor Ron DeSantis who has criticized Biden for “trying to deny school lunch programs to states that don’t do transgender ideology in the schools,” saying Biden was “totally off his rocker to be doing that.”

The signatories stated that implementation of the USDA rule will have “the inevitable result [of] regulatory chaos that would threaten the effective provision of essential nutritional services to some of our most vulnerable citizens.”

The Biden administration also violated the Administrative Procedures Act, read the letter, by not posting the regulation for comment, and instead it called the new rule a “clarification.” The Biden administration has a history of ignoring basic rule-making procedures to push social agenda items on issues including abortion.

Biden’s new “clarification” misapplies the Supreme Court’s 2020 ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, written by Justice Neil Gorsuch, that found “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” in the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

“[T]he Guidance is unlawful because the USDA has premised it on an obvious misreading and misapplication of the Supreme Court’s holding in Bostock v. Clayton County,” the attorneys general  letter stated.

The letter added the new food assistance rule is “a misreading and unwarranted extension of Bostock. The USDA cannot point to Bostock to justify its interpretation of Title IX because Bostock concerned only Title VII.”

“We have long had a productive relationship with the federal government, managing various food and nutrition programs guided by the principles of cooperative federalism,” the signatories stated. “We would like to continue this cooperative relationship.

“But the Guidance flouts the rule of law, relies on patently incorrect legal analysis that is currently under scrutiny in the federal courts, and was issued without giving the States the requisite opportunity to be heard,” the letter stated.

The letter concluded by asking Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to rescind the rule.