Several female student-athletes and an organization representing 3,000 U.S. Christian schools have asked a federal district court to let them join a lawsuit fighting for women's rights and privacy. The suit challenges a move by President Joe Biden to allow biological males to compete on women's athletic teams while also granting them access to female locker rooms and bathrooms.
Attorneys with the Alliance Defending Freedom filed a motion on Monday with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee on behalf of the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) and three female athletes in Arkansas to be allowed to participate in the State of Tennessee v. United States Department of Education.
As CBN News has reported, 20 state attorneys general, led by the state of Tennessee, sued the Biden administration in late August, seeking to stop the mandates that broaden federal sex discrimination protections to include LGBTQ people. The government mandates range from transgender individuals participating in school sports to the use of school and workplace bathrooms that align with a person's gender identity.
Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Knoxville, TN, arguing that legal interpretations by the U.S. Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission are based on a faulty view of U.S. Supreme Court case law.
The Supreme Court ruled in June 2020 that the 1964 landmark Civil Rights law, under a provision called Title VII, protects gay, lesbian, and transgender people from discrimination in employment. The court ruled you can't discriminate on the basis of sex. In 1964, the statute meant "male" or "female." But now the Supreme Court says "sex" also applies to both sexual orientation and gender identity.
Last June, the Department of Education also issued a ruling that reinterpreted Title IX, a law passed in 1972 to protect against discrimination in education based on gender. The Biden administration's new policy directive said discrimination based on a student's sexual orientation or gender identity will now be treated as a violation of Title IX.
Since Title IX was originally established to give women equality in sports, young women and girls are now fighting to have their rights restored.
"Girls deserve to compete on a level playing field, and states, schools, and individuals across America are rightly stepping up to safeguard equal athletic opportunity for female students," said ADF Senior Counsel Ryan Bangert.
"The Biden administration's radical push to redefine sex in federal law has widespread impact and specifically threatens female athletes. This undermines one of the driving purposes of Title IX to promote equality for women in athletics, and it jeopardizes the safety of female athletes by allowing physically stronger, faster, and larger males to compete on women's teams. Our Constitution protects against this gross overreach of executive power, and the athletes and the Association of Christian Schools International that Alliance Defending Freedom represent are committed to protecting safe and fair opportunities for female athletes," he said.
In addition to representing ACSI, ADF attorneys are representing Anna Scarborough, Cate Ford, and Amelia Ford, student athletes who attend public schools in Arkansas.
A Question of Fairness: Public Schools Would Allow Biological Males on Girls' Sports Teams
ACSI's schools have approximately 500,000 students enrolled throughout the U.S. Some of these schools compete against public schools that receive federal financial assistance and are required to adhere to the new federal mandate.
The Christian schools and their female athletes argue they would be at a disadvantage because the public schools they compete against in athletic events would be required by the Biden administration to permit trans-identifying biological males to compete with girls.
"The female athletes and ACSI seek to provide equal opportunities for women in athletics by maintaining sex-separated sports teams as guaranteed by Title IX," the motion to intervene states. "The female athletes will show how allowing physiologically bigger, stronger, and faster biological males to compete in women's sports personally harms their chance at fair competition and eliminates their 'chance to be champions.'"
The states of Tennessee, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and West Virginia filed the lawsuit "to prevent federal agencies from usurping authority that properly belongs to Congress, the states, and the people and to eliminate the nationwide confusion and upheaval that the agencies' recent guidance has inflicted on states and other regulated entities."