KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas and Missouri have joined more than a dozen states in filing a lawsuit to scuttle federal guidance that would allow transgender girls and women to compete in girls' and women's sports, as well as allow transgender students and employees to be called by their preferred pronouns.
The suit, filed Monday in the Eastern District of Tennessee, Knoxville Division, argued that President Biden directed federal agencies to “implement the administration’s policy of prohibiting sexual orientation and gender-identity discrimination by unreasonably interpreting federal antidiscrimination laws.”
Biden’s directive cites the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, which determined that being terminated from employment for being homosexual or identifying as transgender is considered sex discrimination.
The states suing the U.S. Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission seek a declaratory judgment that would allow schools to continue separating students “by biological sex in appropriate circumstances in accordance with Title IX’s statutory text and longstanding Department regulations.”
It also requests that states named in the suit and Title IX recipients not be prevented from maintaining separate showers, locker rooms, bathrooms or residential facilities based on biological sex.
The lawsuits claims the federal government:
- Ignored procedure for implementing such guidance as required by law;
- Took action contrary to Title IX;
- Exceeded congressional authorization and violated the separation of powers;
- Violated the 10th Amendment.
The lawsuit also claims the Department of Education's action is arbitrary and capricious; violates the spending clause and First Amendment; and exceeds statutory authority,
The EEOC, according to the lawsuit, would impermissibly overturn existing state law.
The Kansas legislature passed a similar bill only to have Gov. Laura Kelly veto it.
The Missouri legislature tried to pass a similar law banning transgender women from competing on teams with biological women, but ultimately the measure never made it Gov. Mike Parson's desk.
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Plaintiffs in addition to Missouri and Kansas include Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia.