Leads Coalition of Texas Lawmakers in Demanding Title IX Rule be Withdrawn
September 14, 2022 - Waxahachie, TX: State Representative Brian Harrison and a coalition of Texas lawmakers sent a letter to Biden’s Department of Education, demanding their proposed Title IX rule be withdrawn and exposing it for what it is: a destruction of women’s rights. Rep. Harrison was joined in the letter by Rep. Valoree Swanson, who authored the “Save Girls' Sports Act” in Texas, which protects Texas girls by keeping biological males out of K-12 female-only sports.
Statement by Representative Harrison:
“It is tragic, but unsurprising, that an administration unable to even define “woman” would use laws designed to protect women and girls to harm them instead. I’m proud to lead a coalition of lawmakers in demanding Biden withdraw his dangerous and unprecedented proposal which would disempower parents, endanger Texas female students, and reduce educational and extracurricular opportunities for women. The State of Texas passed laws to protect women and unelected DC bureaucrats must be defeated in this unconstitutional overreach.”
Statement by Representative Swanson:
"As the author of the 'Save Girls' Sports Act,' I am outraged that the federal government is endangering female athletes by ignoring basic biology and pushing to allow biological males to enter female-only sports. Our young girls deserve privacy in the locker room and safety on the field. Extracurricular sports that provide opportunities for scholarships, professional careers, and personal fulfillment should not be held hostage by the government in furtherance of a political agenda. I demand that the Department withdraw this rule and let Texas protect our girls."
In 2021, Representative Valoree Swanson proudly authored and passed House Bill 25 87(3), known as the "Save Girls' Sports Act,” to stop biological males who claim to be females from cheating our young girls out of their own sports and putting them at risk on the field and in the most intimate settings of a locker room. As a response, the federal government is moving to expand the definition of Title IX, the 1972 federal law that gave equal rights to young girls in education and athletics, and subvert Texas' science-based approach to protecting biological females. In addition, HB 25 ensured that female athletes may participate in male-only sports if there is no female equivalent and does not affect the availability or legality of co-ed sports.
The proposed expansion of Title IX is based on a misinterpretation of Bostock v. Clayton County, which the DOE claims will allow the federal government to investigate "discrimination" based on states protecting sex-specific activities. Moreover, the DOE’s proposal is an unconstitutional subversion of the elected legislatures of sovereign states under the 10th Amendment and a violation of the Spending Clause of the United States Constitution. The ever-moving goalposts of Title IX by the federal government have already created legal confusion in schools across the United State as it relates to reporting, staffing and personnel, penalties, and reliability of federal funding.
September 12, 2022
The Honorable Miguel Cardona
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave, S.W.
Washington, DC 20202
Dear Secretary Cardona:
Title IX provided groundbreaking protection for women in education. It has proven to be especially important on the athletic field, compelling colleges and universities to treat men and women equally in terms of facilities and athletic scholarships. Your Department’s Proposed Rule, ironically entitled “Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex in Education Programs or Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance,” would undermine these protections and upend truly competitive athletics. It is inconsistent with the plain language of Title IX, which bars discrimination in education on the basis of sex.
I was formerly the Chief of Staff at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, whose own regulations would be negatively affected by this proposed rule. I am currently a Texas state legislator and am joined in this letter by my colleague, Rep. Valoree Swanson, who authored the “Save Women’s Sports Bill” in Texas, which we proudly passed last session, and other colleagues in the Texas legislature. We are writing to express our strong opposition to the Department of Education’s proposed rule.
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. Women’s Liberation Front and American Principles Project did a joint poll and found that 75% of Texans say that “boys and men who say they identify as transgender should not be allowed to compete in girls’ and women’s athletics.” One study revealed that 94% of senior female executives played competitive sports. By allowing males to compete in women’s sports, it doesn’t just impact a female athlete’s ability to gain titles, medals, set records, and win scholarships, but also her opportunity to get on the playing field in the first place. 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.
Additionally, the expansion of the definition erodes the right of young girls to consent to who sees them in intimate settings, such as a locker room. 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. In practice, this means bathrooms, locker rooms, housing accommodations, and teams are opened up to men and boys. Title IX specifically requires separate spaces to protect the privacy and safety of girls and women, yet the new definition puts women and girls at risk.
We urge you to prove your stated desire to protect women by withdrawing your proposed rule.
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