President Joe Biden’s Department of Education will issue a new Title IX rule that protects transgender students within the coming weeks, according to a Washington Post report issued Wednesday.
Title IX is federal legislation prohibiting sex-based discrimination in federally-funded education programs or activities. If approved, the proposed rule would hold the weight of law as a regulation.
Biden’s move comes as more and more states move to ban transgender athletes from competing in women’s sports. For example, Utah’s state legislature recently overrode Governor Spencer Cox’s (R-UT) veto of a bill prohibiting transgender athletes from participating in women’s sports. Other states with similar laws on the books include Texas, Florida, and South Dakota.
Transgender athletes in women’s sports became a nationwide debate after transgender swimmer Lia Thomas won the NCAA women’s 500-yard freestyle on March 17. Proponents of legislation prohibiting transgender athletes argue they are protecting women’s sports because of the unfair physical advantage men have over women. On the other hand, transgender athlete proponents say laws banning them from competing harm transgender children.
Biden’s proposed Title IX rule reads, “discrimination on the basis of sex includes discrimination on the basis of sex stereotypes, sex-related characteristics (including intersex traits), pregnancy or related conditions, sexual orientation, and gender identity,” according to the Washington Post.
The upcoming regulations would also reportedly change how K-12 schools and universities deal with sexual assault and harassment allegations. Former President Donald Trump’s administration issued a rule that provides more due process rights for those accused of sexual misconduct. However, Biden’s update “is expected to be friendlier to those leveling the accusations,” according to the Post.