Title IX, transgender athletes need to be considered separately

Last month the Biden administration proposed a new set of Title IX rules that would extend protection for transgender students in college. However, it is not yet clear how the department will address the participation of transgender students in athletics. The department will conduct a separate rule-making process that is expected to focus extensively on the participation of transgender students in sports.

Laws regarding transgender students’ participation in sports are changing rapidly across the country as political divisions grow. So far, 20 states have passed legislation to bar transgender students from participating in games lined up with their gender identities. The law, however, generally focuses on K-12 school students and does not apply to colleges.

A new proposal published last week in the IX of the 1972 Education Amendment-a law that prohibits gender discrimination in all federally funded schools and colleges স্প would explicitly prohibit discrimination and harassment against students based on gender identity and sexual orientation. The process of creating separate rules on athletics, with a focus on transgender athletes, was first issued in the history of the Department of Education.

“Some states are passing laws targeting LGBTQ students. Standing up for equal access and inclusion is as important as ever, ”Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a briefing on the proposal. “The Department acknowledges that standards for students participating in male and female athletics teams are evolving in real time, so we have decided to create a separate rule on how schools can determine eligibility while maintaining the non-discriminatory guarantee of Title IX.”

Both advocates and critics of transgender athletes are upset that the department will issue a separate rule for transgender athletes. Advocates would prefer the administration to extend blanket protection for transgender athletes through Title IX, contrary to the broader rule, while critics argue that protection for transgender athletes should be revoked.

“[President Biden] Put aside the issue of athletics, which I think is inappropriate — he is throwing trans girls and women under the bus for political reasons, ”said Travers, a sociology professor at Simon Fraser University in Canada, who uses only one name.

Transgender athletes and college sports

Transgender athletes make up a small population of athletes across the country, even in small numbers to participate in college sports. There are only 32 trans athletes who have competed openly in college sports, the report said. Like transgender students in general, trans athletes report unequal levels of intimidation and harassment compared to their sexgender peers, all of which will be banned under the new Title IX proposal.

The success of Leah Thomas, a transgender swimmer at the University of Pennsylvania, has sparked much controversy over how trans athletes benefit from competing sisgender athletes competing in the same sport.

The new proposal would extend protection from harassment and discrimination on the basis of gender to include gender identity. Since Biden took office, his administration has reversed many of the Trump-era policies that defined sexuality as biological sexuality determined at birth.

Although the Department of Education’s Civil Rights Office issued an explanatory notice based on the Supreme Court ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County in 2021, stating that students should not be discriminated against on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity, many advocates argue that these protections apply to Title IX. Codifying the regulations will give them more teeth.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association, which regulates many college athletics programs across the country, released a new guideline in January regarding the participation of transgender students that borrows many rules from the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committees. The organization adopted its first set of guidelines on transgender students’ involvement in sports in 2011, at a time when virtually no college has adopted a policy on the subject.

Under the new guidelines, which will be fully implemented by August 2023, transgender athletes in NCAA member colleges will have to regularly report their testosterone levels and provide additional documentation that they meet certain standards depending on the sport they compete in.

“It is important that NCAA member school, conference and college athletes compete in an inclusive, fair, safe and dignified environment and move forward with a clear understanding of the new policy,” said John Digioa, chair of the NCAA Board of Governors and president of Georgetown University, one of the guidelines. In the statement.

Opposition to the involvement of transgender students in sports

Critics of the protection of transgender athletes include anti-LGBTQ groups, conservative and religious organizations, some women in sports and those who argue that the participation of transgender students threatens women’s equality in sports. “We are very disappointed to see the Biden administration unveil this proposal,” said Matt Sharp, senior counsel at the Alliance Defending Freedom and national director of state government relations.

Those who oppose trans athletes playing on a team that is consistent with their gender identity argue that these athletes, especially on the female team, have an unfair biological advantage and that they take away opportunities from Sisgender female athletes.

“By radically rewriting federal law, the Biden administration is threatening the progress that women have long fought to achieve in education and athletics. In addition to denying women a fair and equal playing field in sports, ”said Christian Kefer, senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, in a statement.

Research, however, has proven that there is little scientific evidence for these results.

“The Biden administration has made it clear that it is committed to advancing the protection of transgender athletes, but will not make specific proposals to address this issue until separate legislation is enacted. What we have seen over the last few years is a real hyperfocus on testosterone as an indicator of athletic performance. Every study on testosterone, every study on trans athletes, very clearly indicates that testosterone is not like athletic ability. When it comes to writing policies that are so focused and focus so much on testosterone, the reality is that most of these policies are ill, ”says Anna Beth, research director at Athlete Alley, a body that supports LGBTQ athletes.

The public view that female transgender athletes have a biological advantage, some advocates say, has created a public view of transgender athletes that does not reflect reality.

“It simply came to our notice then. We don’t see this sector of trans girls and women winning everything in women’s and girls ’sports,” Travers said. “When you create a moral panic, you create an impression of this horrible event when events don’t support it.”

The new Title IX proposal is expected to receive many legal challenges from conservative states, especially those that have moved to ban transgender athletes from participating in sports.

What next?

The Biden administration has made it clear that it is committed to advancing the protection of transgender athletes, however, a specific proposal to address this issue will not be released until the process of creating separate rules begins.

The department has not yet announced when the process of creating separate rules for its application in Title IX and Athletics will begin.

“We assumed that the proposed regulation notice would address athletics strongly. And instead, the administration has informed the public that it plans to issue a separate notice for proposed legislation on athletics, ”said Sara Verbello, legal director of the human rights campaign, which supports LGBTQ rights. “We don’t know much about what the administration is thinking. We know that they have spoken out against the blanket ban on transgender girls and women participating in athletics in the school environment. But we don’t know if they are considering any restrictions or restrictions for the purpose of making this alternative proposed rule. “

In the proposed Title IX guidelines, the department cited a lawsuit বি BPJ v. West Virginia-that found that West Virginia’s ban on female transgender athletes from participating in sports violated both Title IX and the Equal Protection Act, which lawyers say students violate. Towards the position of the department against the ban on participation in sports.

Advocates hope the administration will clarify where the transgender students have access to the final Title IX proposal, including playgrounds, bathrooms and locker rooms. The inclusion of these protections would prevent state lawmakers from passing legislation to bar transgender students from these locations in all federally funded colleges.

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