September 2, 2020 - Wednesday
DOE Moves to Give Girls a Sporting Chance
September 2, 2020
If there's one thing the Biden-Harris ticket isn't usually accused of, it's not being radical enough. But Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), one of the most outspoken extremists in America, is being raked over the coals for not making transgenderism a bigger priority. That's a shock, most observers would say, since the liberal duo hasn't just made it a big priority -- they've made it their first priority.
According to Joe Biden, it isn't race relations or the taking of innocent unborn life or religious genocide that are the world's gravest injustices. "Transgender equality," he argued, "is the civil rights issue of our time." His running mate, Kamala Harris, not only agrees -- she cosponsored a bill that would bulldoze women's rights in favor of the .04 percent of the population who identifies as another sex. She's such a fanatical supporter of the "T" in LGBT that she cosponsored a bill that would force schools to let biological boys compete in girls' sports, use their restrooms, share their locker rooms, or bunk together on field trips. And Biden has assured Democrats that bill -- the Equality Act -- will be "the first thing I ask to be done."
To most Americans, that's appalling. To the never-satisfied activists on the Left, it's not enough. "If [Harris would grapple publicly with what was going on when she denied the rights of trans people [as attorney general of California] and admit that her mind has changed... I might not call her a hypocrite." Ironically, Harris, as the state's top law enforcer, was just doing her job -- enforcing the transgender prison policy as written. In the five years since, as a U.S. senator, she has more than made up for it, taking the anti-faith, anti-science, anti-woman position any time a gender identity question comes up. In fact, as far as America's leftists are concerned, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are the most pro-LGBT ticket "in history."
Based on the latest polling, that might not be the best selling point for voters, who -- by massive margins -- object to anyone taking away their daughters' privacy and her right to a level sports playing field. In battleground states in particular, 75 percent of Americans said "no way" to the idea of men competing against women athletes. When you ask that question in every state, the idea is just as unpopular. Only 29 percent of the country agrees with Harris and Biden that this should be mandated in public schools. African Americans overwhelmingly objected at 57 percent.
But Democrats aren't getting the message. Just this June, more than two dozen congressmen and senators sent a letter to the Department of Education demanding a transgender-friendly policy for girls' sports in local districts. The idea that the Trump administration would stand in the way of such a ludicrous rule was, they wrote, "a transparent example of their campaign against the rights and dignity of LGBTQ+ children." When the Bostock ruling came down, stunning the nation with its redefinition of "sex," liberals probably thought they'd get their wish.
Not so fast, the Department of Education says. This week, the agency's Office of Civil Rights -- the same team who filed a statement of interest on behalf of wronged athletes like Connecticut's Selena Soule -- let everyone know: they aren't backing down. Just because six justices on the U.S. Supreme Court have a misguided interpretation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act doesn't mean that the government has to. In a 49-page letter clarifying the DOE's position, Kimberly Richey, the department's acting assistant secretary for civil rights, put some fears to rest when she wrote that federal regulations allow schools to have separate-sex athletics "based on biological differences. Nor is that separation, she explained, rooted in discrimination.
"Such separate-sex teams have long ensured that female student athletes are afforded an equal opportunity to participate," she wrote. "Distinctions based on the two sexes in such circumstances are permissible because the sexes are not similarly situated."
That's music to the ears of Alliance Defending Freedom, who's fighting for girls like Selena, and activists like Save Women's Sports' Beth Stelzer or CWA's Doreen Denny -- all of whom felt the ground shift when the SCOTUS ruling came down. "We need to be very vigilant to ensure that the decision that was reached by the court in Bostock is not extended in a way that it was never intended," Doreen has argued. Because Title IX, and every bit of progress made for women in the last 50 years, would be the first to go.
Under this administration, girls have a chance. Under another, they might not be so lucky.
Tony Perkins's Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC Action senior writers.