Attorneys general from 20 states have filed suit against the Biden administration over the extension of federal sex discrimination protections to include LGBTQ+ individuals.
The lawsuit was filed August 30 against the Department of Education in the U.S. District Court in Knoxville by Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery. It takes aim at federal extension of anti-discriminatory protections to include trans individuals’ rights to use bathrooms and participate on scholastic sports teams in accordance with their gender identity.
These extensions, the lawsuit alleges, rely on a faulty interpretation of the Supreme Court’s 2015 Bostock ruling, allowing the federal government to intervene in matters best left to the states.
“The Department [of Education] interpreted a prohibition on discrimination ‘on the basis of sex’ in Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 … to encompass discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, notwithstanding that the Title IX expressly permits sex separation on the basis of biological sex,” the suit states, “and that Bostock expressly disclaimed any intent to interpret other federal or state laws that prohibit sex discrimination.”
The lawsuit comes at a time when states around the country are enacting legislation that prevents transgender individuals, specifically minors, from accessing bathrooms, sports teams, and medical treatment in accordance with their gender identity.
Since taking office in January, President Biden and his administration have extended anti-discriminatory protections to include LGBTQ+ individuals. The President has signed into law executive orders reversing the previous administration’s ban on transgender individuals serving in the military and on transgender access to healthcare. He has also extended housing protections to include LGBTQ+ individuals.
In addition to Tennessee, the states in the lawsuit are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, and West Virginia.