(The Center Square) — Twenty-five of the nation’s 26 Republican governors have asked the Biden administration to shelve its intent to expand Title IX protections to transgender athletes.
The letter, led by the signature of Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, says the U.S. Department of Education’s proposed regulation should be withdrawn pending litigation that could be addressed by the U.S. Supreme Court.
“The Department’s proposed regulation would attempt to coerce compliance with an uncertain, fluid, and completely subjective standard that is based on a highly politicized gender ideology,” the letter reads.
The letter comes as the public comment period ends Monday on a proposed revision to Title IX that would ban state and local governments from prohibiting transgender students from participating on sports teams aligned with their gender identity.
Title IX was created to increase opportunities for female athletes. Federal funds can be withheld from those found to be in violation. The law, which was passed in 1972, prohibits discrimination based on sex for school districts, universities, museums and other educational institutions that receive federal funds.
“Compelling a subjective, athlete-by-athlete analysis controlled by a student’s self-identified ‘gender identity’ enforced under threat of Department retribution affords no clarity,” the letter reads. “It does the opposite. This ‘fluid’ subjective standard ensures chaos and confusion in schools and will no doubt result in protracted and disruptive litigation.”
Twenty-one states prohibit transgender students from participating on sports teams that do not align with their biological sex at birth, according to the Movement Advancement Project that tracks state policies.
The letter was signed by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy, Arkansas Gov. Sarah Sanders, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, Idaho Gov. Brad Little, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte, Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen, Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice and Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon.
The signature of Vermont Republican Gov. Phil Scott is not on the letter.