Kansas AG joins lawsuit challenging transgender athlete guidance

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Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 4:14 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has filed a lawsuit over guidance to schools regarding how Title IX protects transgender students.

Schmidt’s action joins a complaint filed by 18 states that seeks to stop enforcement of guidance they call an unlawful interpretation of federal anti-discrimination laws. They say guidance issued in June by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the U.S. Dept. of Education oversteps in efforts to resolve issues such as whether schools must allow biological males to compete on girls’ sports teams, whether employers and schools may maintain sex-separated showers and locker rooms, and whether people must use another person’s preferred pronouns.

The federal agencies have said the guidance, issued under Title IX and Title VII provisions of federal education and civil rights laws, implements a U.S. Supreme Court decision. However, Schmidt says the ruling to which they refer addressed employment discrimination.

Schmidt said the federal guidance could keep states from enacting their own legislation, such as separating sporting competitions by biological sex.

“Earlier this year, the Kansas Legislature passed the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, and that bill was vetoed by the governor,” Schmidt said. “This lawsuit is aimed at ensuring unelected federal bureaucrats cannot distort federal law to take that type of policy decision away from elected officials in Kansas.”

The lawsuit accuses the EEOC and Department of Education of changing federal law, and extending the Supreme Court’s decision beyond the issues argued.

The attorneys general want the federal court to declare the EEOC and U.S. Dept. of Education guidance invalid. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Tennessee.

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