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More states, girls sue Biden admin for illegal attempt to rewrite Title IX

On behalf of female athlete organization and female student, ADF attorneys join Kansas Attorney General and three other states to preserve fairness, privacy, safety, and free speech in education

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

TOPEKA, Kan. – Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach, together with attorneys general from three other states, Alliance Defending Freedom, and private groups of parents, students, and female athletes, filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against the Biden administration for its attempt to rewrite Title IX, a federal law designed to create equal opportunities for students in education and athletics. This is now the fourth legal action ADF attorneys have brought to stop the administration’s illegal Title IX efforts.

In this new case, State of Kansas v. U.S. Department of Education, ADF attorneys represent Female Athletes United, an organization made up of female athletes devoted to protecting women’s sports, and Katie Rowland, a 13-year-old student who had to stop using the restrooms at her Oklahoma public school for a time because of males accessing this private space. In addition to the states of Kansas, Alaska, Utah, and Wyoming and the female student and female-athlete organization represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, two other groups, Moms for Liberty and Young America’s Foundation, also joined the lawsuit. Together, they formed a broad coalition to challenge the administration’s attempt to redefine “sex” in federal law to include “gender identity,” and to protect the privacy, safety, free speech, and fairness for students and teachers.

“If Biden has his way, a 16-year-old female high school student on an overnight field trip could be forced to share a hotel room with a biological male who identifies as a girl or the district would risk losing federal funding,” Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach said. “A 14-year-old girl could be forced to share a locker room and change in front of an 18-year-old man who identifies as a woman or the district could lose funds. It’s unconscionable, it’s dangerous for girls and women, and it’s against federal law.”

“The Biden administration’s radical redefinition of sex won’t just rewire our educational system. It means girls will be forced to undress in locker rooms and share bedrooms with boys on overnight school trips, teachers and students will have to refrain from speaking truthfully about biological sex, and girls will lose their right to fair competition in sports,” said ADF Legal Counsel Rachel Rouleau. “The administration continues to ignore biological reality, science, and commonsense, and women and girls, including our brave clients in this case, are suffering as a result.”

The attorneys explain in the lawsuit that when Rowland was just 11 years old, she entered her middle school girls’ restroom at school, and was surprised to find a boy in the restroom. Scared and confused, she asked the male student why he was in the girls’ restroom. This situation made Rowland feel so uncomfortable that she progressively went from checking to see if there were any boys in the girls’ restroom to avoiding using the restroom altogether on school days—waiting nearly nine hours from getting on the bus to returning home.

Since April 30, ADF attorneys have initiated three other similar legal actions challenging the administration’s unlawful attempt to rewrite Title IX. In Rapides Parish School Board v. U.S. Department of Education, ADF attorneys represent a Louisiana school board serving more than 20,000 students. In State of Tennessee v. Cardona, ADF attorneys represent Adaleia Cross, a high-school athlete from West Virginia, and Christian Educators Association International, a group of Christian teachers from across the country. Adaleia has already lost key opportunities to a male student on her track team and had to endure that student’s vulgar sexual comments while on the team. Christian Educators now face threats to their free speech and right to access sex-specific spaces like restrooms.

And last week, Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin, together with attorneys general from five other states and ADF, filed a lawsuit against the administration in State of Arkansas v. U.S. Department of Education. In that case, ADF attorneys represent Amelia Ford, a high school athlete from Arkansas.

The attorneys filed this most recent lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas, Topeka Division.

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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