FederalState HouseGOP Lawmakers Demand Biden Administration Withdraw Proposed Title IX Change with ‘Gender Identity’ Protections

Some Republicans in the Texas House wrote a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Education opposing the new interpretation of Title IX.
September 14, 2022
On September 12, Reps. Brian Harrison (R-Midlothian) and Valoree Swanson (R-Spring) penned a letter to Miguel Cardona, the U.S. Secretary of Education, imploring the department and the Biden administration to scrap proposed rule changes to Title IX.

Harrison and Swanson are joined by Reps. Mayes Middleton (R-Wallisville), Matt Schaefer, (R-Tyler), Steve Toth (R-Woodlands), and Cody Vasut (R-Angleton).

Title IX, the landmark achievement of the 1972 Education Amendments, reads, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

The Biden administration, starting with an executive order issued in 2021 named, “Guaranteeing an Educational Environment Free From Discrimination on the Basis of Sex, Including Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity,” has created a new interpretation of the rule.

Following this executive order, the Department of Education issued a proposed amendment to Title IX in June named, “Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex in Education Programs or Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance.”

The Texan Tumbler

In a press release announcing the proposed rule, Cardona said, “As we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of this landmark law, our proposed changes will allow us to continue that progress and ensure all our nation’s students – no matter where they live, who they are, or whom they love – can learn, grow, and thrive in school.”

The rule is over 700 pages long, but one main change is the redefinition of “sex” to include gender identity and sexual orientation.

The department said that under this change, “They would make clear that preventing someone from participating in school programs and activities consistent with their gender identity would cause harm in violation of Title IX.”

Harrison was the former chief of staff of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under President Donald Trump. Swanson authored House Bill (HB) 25, the “Save Girl’s Sports Bill,” which prohibits biological males from participating on women’s sports teams.

Harrison believes the proposed change to Title IX represents an anti-democratic attempt to preempt state laws like Swanson’s.

Harrison wrote in the letter, “The proposed rule’s expansion of the definition of ‘sex’ to include ‘gender identity’ is in stark contrast to our new law in Texas that protects Texas girls by keeping K-12 school sports single-sex.”

“Title IX’s purpose was to ensure the rights to equal opportunities in education and other programs for women and girls. The distinction between male and female is important to secure those rights,” he continued.

He also argued in the letter that, “The new definition would require any K-12 school, college, or university receiving direct or indirect federal funding to open any sex-separated space, program, or offering to someone who is biologically of the opposite sex.

“This means bathrooms, locker rooms, housing accommodations, and teams are opened up to men and boys.”

Harrison and Swanson hope the Biden administration will “prove [their] stated desire to protect women by withdrawing [the] proposed rule.”

When asked why he decided to write this letter, Harrison told The Texan, “We have laws in Texas to protect women and girls, and we want to protect them. We also want to uphold Texas’ sovereignty. Unelected bureaucrats in D.C. must not be allowed to make these decisions.” 

“They do not have the authority to make this rule. They cannot go back and rewrite federal law. The purpose of Title IX is to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex. What is not included in that law is gender identity being a part of sex discrimination.”

“The Biden administration wants to take a law meant to protect and help women, and pretend that its definition of sex includes identifying as a gender other than what you are,” he asserted. “Then they can force schools to allow men to compete with women as long as the man claims he identifies as a woman.” 

Harrison thinks that the administration is pursuing this route because of its “radical” agenda, saying, “They want to enact the most extreme policies in history, but they know they are too extreme to pass through any legislature.”

“This is unconstitutional, illegal, and states like Texas need to fight back. We must defend women and we must defend federalism.”

Copies of Harrison’s letter to Cardona and press release can be found below.


Disclosure: Unlike almost every other media outlet, The Texan is not beholden to any special interests, does not apply for any type of state or federal funding, and relies exclusively on its readers for financial support. If you’d like to become one of the people we’re financially accountable to, click here to subscribe.

Get “KB's Hot Take”

A free bi-weekly commentary on current events by Konni Burton.

Hudson Callender

Hudson Callender is a reporter for The Texan and a lifelong resident of San Antonio, Texas. Hudson recently graduated cum laude from Trinity University with majors in Economics and Political Science, and loves to study ancient history. Hudson is also an avid mountaineer, backpacker, and paddler, often leading trips to remote wilderness areas. Outside of his love for nature, history, and Lone Star beer, Hudson spends his weekends arguing with his friends about football, and will always stick up for the Baylor Bears, Dallas Cowboys, and San Antonio Spurs.