Title IX Tensions: Texas Clashes with Biden Administration Over Title IX LGBTQ+ Student Protections 

Photo Credit: Patricia Lim / KUT 

In a defiant move against the Biden Administration’s reinterpretation of Title IX, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton have chosen to fight federal mandates that expand protections to include gender identity and sexual orientation. The administration’s revised guidelines redefine sex-based discrimination to extend safeguards to LGBTQ+ students.  

Abbott has instructed the Texas Education Agency to ignore these new rules, asserting that they overstep the original purpose of Title IX, enacted to prevent discrimination against women in educational settings. 

“The law was based on the fundamental premise that there are only two sexes—male and female,” stated Gov. Abbott in a letter to President Biden. “You have rewritten Title IX to force schools to treat boys as if they were girls and to accept every student’s self-declared gender identity.” 

The governor’s move, inviting a protracted legal battle at taxpayer expense, follows quickly in the footsteps of his remarks in April, attacking LGBTQ+ educators and calling for an “end” to transgender teachers.  

Adding legal firepower to this opposition, Paxton has sued the federal government, claiming the changes unlawfully impose a “radical gender ideology” on Texas schools. Paxton’s lawsuit contends that the new rule violates the Constitution and the spirit of Title IX by allowing individuals to access female-only spaces based on their gender identity, thereby “compromising”’ women’s safety and competitive fairness. He describes the administration’s actions as an extreme overreach undermining state rights and scientific standards. 

“These unlawful modifications to Title IX represent a radical departure from its original intent, risking the safety and well-being of female students across the nation,” Paxton stated.  

This standoff is not just a legal battle but a pivotal cultural conflict, reflecting deep national divisions over gender identity and rights. As Texas continues to position itself at the forefront of attacking LGBTQ+ rights, the issue promises to escalate into a significant legal and ideological showdown with profound implications for our most vulnerable populations.  

As usual, those who lose most in the governor’s self-inflicted conflict are our students, particularly those who are transgender or gender non-conforming. This week, The Trevor Project released the results of its 2024 U.S. National Survey on the Mental Health of LGBTQ+ Young People: according to the survey, 39% of LGBTQ+ young people have seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, and 90% of them said their well-being has been harmed by recent political events.  

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