Ten more states have filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration over its requirement that school districts allow male students who identify as female and vice versa to use the restroom that correlates with their “gender identity.”
Nebraska, Arkansas, Kansas, Michigan, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota and Wyoming now join the list of states that are challenging directives from the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice issued in May.
As previously reported, the department had released guidelines requiring schools to accommodate students’ “gender identity” under threat of losing their federal funding.
“A school may provide separate facilities on the basis of sex, but must allow transgender students access to such facilities consistent with their gender identity,” the document read. “A school may not require transgender students to use facilities inconsistent with their gender identity or to use individual-user facilities when other students are not required to do so.”
“As a condition of receiving federal funds, a school agrees that it will not exclude, separate, deny benefits to, or otherwise treat differently on the basis of sex any person in its educational programs or activities unless expressly authorized to do so under Title IX or its implementing regulations,” it warned.
But following the release of the guidelines, 11 states filed suit to challenge what they believe is a government overreach and misinterpretation of the federal Civil Rights Act.
Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin, as well as Arizona’s Department of Education and the governor of Maine, all challenged the directive.
Texas officials asserted in their legal brief that the Obama administration “conspired to turn workplace and educational settings across the country into laboratories for a massive social experiment, flouting the democratic process, and running roughshod over commonsense policies protecting children and basic privacy rights.”
On Friday, Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson released a statement announcing the new suit and contending that the Department of Justice and Department of Education had sidestepped Congress in the matter.
“Today, Nebraska, along with nine states, filed an action in Nebraska federal court challenging the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice’s recent mandate changing current Title IX law regarding how schools assign students to showers, locker rooms, and restroom facilities,” the statement read.
“The recent action by these two federal agencies to require showers, locker rooms, and bathrooms be open to both sexes based solely on the student’s choice, circumvents this established law by ignoring the appropriate legislative process necessary to change such a law,” Peterson stated. “It also supersedes local school districts’ authority to address student issues on an individualized, professional and private basis.”
Like the brief filed in May, the 10 states also believe that the Obama administration is misinterpreting Title IX, which does not mention “gender identity,” but rather only “sex.”
“Neither the text nor the legislative history of Title IX supports an interpretation of the term ‘sex’ as meaning anything other than one’s sex as determined by anatomy and genetics,” the joint lawsuit says.