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Biden Administration's New Rule On Transgender Student Rights

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, center, signs a bill that prevents transgender girls and women from competing on female sports teams, March 30, 2022, in Oklahoma City. A new rule from President Joe

A recent federal regulation finalized by President Joe Biden's administration has sparked a clash with laws in Republican-controlled states regarding the treatment of transgender students in the U.S. The regulation, spanning 1,577 pages, aims to clarify Title IX, a 1972 law prohibiting sex discrimination in schools and colleges that receive federal funding. The new rules, set to take effect in August, extend protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity, a move contested by many Republicans who argue it goes beyond the law's original intent.

One key point of contention is the regulation's stance on bathroom policies. At least 11 states have enacted laws restricting transgender students' access to bathrooms aligning with their gender identity. The federal regulation opposes these laws, asserting that denying transgender students access to facilities consistent with their gender identity violates Title IX's nondiscrimination rule.

Additionally, the regulation addresses parental notification requirements for transgender students, stating that schools can disclose information to parents with legal rights to receive such information. Several states already have laws mandating parental notification for transgender students.

Regarding pronoun usage, some states have laws protecting individuals who refuse to use preferred pronouns of transgender or nonbinary students. The regulation acknowledges that harassment based on gender identity can constitute sex discrimination under Title IX but also upholds free speech rights.

While the new rules do not explicitly address transgender participation in sports, they could have implications for state laws banning transgender girls from girls' sports competitions. Legal challenges are expected, with several state attorneys general expressing intent to contest the federal regulation. Advocates on both sides anticipate lawsuits over the interpretation and enforcement of the rules.

The debate over transgender rights in schools and sports is likely to intensify as legal battles unfold in response to the federal regulation. The impact on transgender youth and students remains a central concern as stakeholders navigate the evolving landscape of policies and regulations.

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