Attorney General Knudsen leads coalition against Biden administration’s attack on women’s rights

Attorney General Knudsen leads coalition against Biden administration’s attack on women’s rights

HELENA – Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen led a coalition of attorneys general today in filing a lawsuit against the Biden administration’s unlawful Title IX rule which puts the rights and safety of girls and young women at risk. The lawsuit is the 44th that Attorney General Knudsen has filed against the Biden administration.

In the rule published Monday, the Department of Education expanded Title IX, which prohibits discrimination in education on the basis of sex, to include “gender identity.” This unlawful rule will ultimately prohibit schools from distinguishing between males and females in athletic and educational opportunities, which will put women at an unfair disadvantage. It will force boys and girls to share bathrooms, locker rooms, dorms, and even overnight lodging while on a school trip. Further, it will stop the progress toward equal opportunity for women in education programs and activities across the country and in Montana.”

“For 50 years Title IX has protected girls and women’s rights, but President Biden has abandoned those protections to appease the woke left,” Attorney General Knudsen said. “This rule is not based in scientific reality. It redefines biological sex which will allow men to compete in women’s sports, violate women’s privacy, and put women and girls in dangerous situations on campus. I will continue to fight to protect women and uphold Montana’s laws against federal overreach.”

The rule redefines the concept of biological sex to include “gender identity” and would federally coerce schools into indoctrinating students in gender identity theories popular among progressive parents but that ignore science.

And because the rule treats failure to affirm a student’s gender identity the same as what is now widely accepted to be discrimination (e.g., excluding girls from the debate team), a school does not need to obtain parental consent before pushing “gender affirmation” of whatever identity a child announces in school. The school would never have to disclose that affirmation program to the child’s parents and must—at any rate—pursue it even over parents’ objections.

Since its enactment in 1972, Title IX has led to an important increase in athletic opportunities for girls and women.  Despite the Biden administration’s wholly political attempt to pretend their rule doesn’t affect athletics, this rule will also deny equal access to athletics for women and girls, further jeopardizing their safety.

The rule could cost Montana taxpayers money in civil lawsuits and the possible loss of federal funding in states that seek to protect equal opportunities for women and girls. It would also harm victims of sex discrimination and violence, as Title IX is used in grievance procedures to produce a fair outcome. 

Several states, including Montana, have enacted legislation to protect athletic opportunities for women by prohibiting biological males from competing in female athletics and the proposed rule encroaches on their rights to regulate athletics within their boundaries.

Attorney General Knudsen co-led the lawsuit with the Louisiana Attorney General Liz Murrill. Mississippi and Idaho also joined.

Click here to read the lawsuit. 

In 2022, Attorney General Knudsen led a coalition of attorney generals in sending formal comments to the Biden administration opposing the rule changes when they were first proposed.

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