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White House Backs Rule Making it Illegal to ‘Categorically Ban’ Trans Athletes from Sports


The Biden administration’s Education Department is moving to block schools that receive federal funding from “categorically” banning biological males from girls’ sports.

In its proposed rule, the Department of Education said it would “establish that policies violate Title IX when they categorically ban transgender students from participating on sports teams consistent with their gender identity just because of who they are.” However, the proposed rule also says that it will recognize “in some instances, particularly in competitive high school and college athletic environments, some schools may adopt policies that limit transgender students’ participation.”

The rules will also provide a framework for schools to develop criteria that protect transgender students from “being denied equal athletic opportunity, while giving schools the flexibility to develop their own participation policies.”

In a statement announcing the proposal, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said that every “student should be able to have the full experience of attending school in America, including participating in athletics, free from discrimination.”

“Under the proposed regulation, schools would not be permitted to adopt or apply a one-size-fits-all policy that categorically bans transgender students from participating on teams consistent with their gender identity,” the Education Department said.

According to USA Today, applications of the rule to K-12 schools could vary, with schools still being able to “determine what is right for them under the proposed regulation, including considerations of grade and education level, a senior department official said on a call with reporters Thursday.”

“I’m trying not to be prescriptive today,” an official with the department said. “My hope is to offer school communities sufficient information to satisfy the law.”

The Education Department said it would accept comments on the rule for 30 days before crafting a final regulation.

“Today’s proposed rule is designed to support Title IX’s protection for equal athletics opportunity,” Cardona said. “We welcome and encourage public comment on the proposed regulation and will continue working to ensure Title IX’s effective protection for all students.”

Imani Rupert-Gordon, the executive director of The National Center for Lesbian Rights, in a media release, celebrated the proposal for recognizing that “transgender youth are an integral part of every school across this country.”

“We applaud the Department of Education for recognizing that the law requires that transgender students must be treated fairly and equally and as respected members of their school communities,” said Rupert-Gordon in a press release.


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