(The Center Square) – Several lawmakers are urging the US Department of Education to roll back a proposed rule that would tie billions of dollars in federal education funding to a range of LGBT mandates.
A dozen Republican lawmakers signed a letter to the department, led by Rep. Bob Good, R-Va., and obtained by The Center Square, saying many “colleges would be forced to choose between losing federal funding and contradicting their beliefs. enact policies and programs that include ideological teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity.
These policies mean that schools nationwide must comply with a series of pro-transgender policies in areas such as sports, housing, locker rooms and bathrooms if they are to continue receiving federal funds. While circumstances may vary, a school could jeopardize its federal funding by refusing to use a student’s preferred pronouns or letting a biological male who identifies as a girl use the women’s restroom and locker room.
Colleges using gender to allocate dorms or schools that don’t allow biological males to compete against female athletes would likely not meet new federal funding requirements.
The Department of Education said earlier this year that it “will apply the Title IX prohibition on sex discrimination to include: (1) discrimination based on sexual orientation; and (2) discrimination based on gender identity.
This new interpretation could have major implications for schools, and critics say the Biden administration has reinterpreted the Title IX law to fit an ideological agenda.
“The Department’s attempt to redefine ‘sex’ by statutory order and to include sexual orientation and gender identity under that term, perverts and undermines the original purpose of the law,” the letter states.
Now, the Department of Education is pushing through a rule that would further codify the controversial Title IX amendments.
The DOE said it is likely that “current regulations do not best meet the requirement of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) that schools and institutions receiving financial assistance government eliminate discrimination based on sex in their educational programs or activities.
“The Department therefore proposes that the current regulations be amended to clarify the scope of sex discrimination, including the obligation of beneficiaries not to discriminate based on sex stereotypes, sex characteristics, pregnancy or related conditions, sexual orientation and gender identity,” the DOE said in its proposed rulemaking notice.
The Ministry of Education has made it clear that it wants changes in gender and sexuality to impact all ages.
“Further, the Department proposes that current regulations may better accommodate the variety of educational programs or activities covered by Title IX, which include beneficiary education programs or activities serving elementary school students, secondary schools and post-secondary institutions,” the DOE added. .
Republican lawmakers pointed to the proposed changes, saying they would force schools to choose between funding and their values.
“This proposed rule would cripple schools by conditioning eligibility for federal student aid, including Pell Grant eligibility, on an institution’s acceptance of radical leftist policies,” the letter said. “The proposed new rule would condition federal student aid funds on the recipient institution’s compliance with the new rule.”
The effort began when President Joe Biden issued an executive order almost immediately after taking office. The change is part of an administration-wide effort to implement a range of LGBT mandates through federal agencies.
For example, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in May that it would change how it interprets Title IX prohibitions on sex discrimination “to include discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. of gender”.
That means things like funding that helps students from low-income families eat lunch at school would be jeopardized unless schools toe the line.
“As a result, national and local agencies, program operators and sponsors who receive funding from [Food and Nutrition Service] must investigate allegations of discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation,” the USDA said in a statement. “These organizations should also update their non-discrimination policies and signage to include prohibitions against discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.”
Lawmakers also argue that the policy could have serious consequences for religious institutions.
“Under Title IX, faith-based organizations are entitled to a waiver from the requirements of the law to preserve their ability to act on honest beliefs. We are concerned that any attempt to impose these unnecessary regulations will result in the punishment of religious organizations for holding beliefs different from the extreme sex and gender ideology championed by this administration.
“The proposed rule is intended to hurt countless students and institutions seeking a high-quality education,” the letter adds.