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ADF Joins 16 States to Defend Privacy and Safety for Women and Girls

Joining coalitions of states in three lawsuits, ADF is challenging the Biden administration’s reckless redefinition of ‘sex’ in Title IX.
Alliance Defending Freedom
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Female athlete Amelia Ford, Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin, and Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey

Since it was passed by President Richard Nixon in 1972, Title IX has contributed to more opportunities for women to attend school, earn degrees, and participate in sports. But over 50 years later, the Biden administration seemingly has no problem with reversing these effects.

In April 2024, the administration officially adopted new rules redefining “sex” in Title IX to include “gender identity.” In practice, the rules will gut equal opportunities for women, erode student privacy, undermine free speech, and threaten women’s sports.

Alliance Defending Freedom has filed multiple lawsuits challenging the Biden administration’s radical redefinition of sex. In three of those lawsuits, we are joining coalitions of states to protect the original meaning and purpose of Title IX.

State of Tennessee v. Cardona

Shortly after the Biden administration officially adopted the new Title IX rules, attorneys general from Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Virginia, and West Virginia filed a lawsuit challenging the harmful rule changes.

Each of these states has a vested interest in protecting the true, textual meaning of Title IX. In Tennessee, for example, state law requires schools and universities to ensure that female-only private spaces like restrooms and showers are designated for women and girls, which is consistent with Title IX. But under the new rules, these institutions would be forced to allow males who identify as female into these intimate spaces.

Adaleia Cross, a high school freshman and girls’ track-and-field athlete in West Virginia, has already experienced the harms that can come from redefining “sex” to include “gender identity.” Adaleia has been forced to compete against a male athlete who identifies as female, and she has also had to endure vulgar sexual comments from this male student while sharing a locker room with him.

But female athletes like Adeleia aren’t the only ones harmed by the new rules.

Christian Educators Association International is an association of Christian teachers who serve children in schools across the country. Under the Biden administration’s rules, these teachers would be forced to lie to students by speaking in favor of gender ideology and treating them as the opposite sex. In addition, Christian Educators members would have to censor themselves and no longer speak openly about their beliefs on gender identity if asked by a student.

ADF attorneys have intervened in this lawsuit on behalf of Adaleia and Christian Educators, and the case is currently before a federal district court.

State of Arkansas v. U.S. Department of Education

Amelia Ford is a high school student and athlete in Arkansas. ADF attorneys are representing her in a lawsuit challenging the new Title IX rules, which would harm her in a variety of ways.

First, Amelia attends a public high school in Arkansas, and she deserves the safety and privacy of using the restroom without worrying about male students being in the restroom with her. But under the new Title IX rules, public schools would have to allow male students who identify as female into girls’ restrooms.

Second, as a member of her school’s basketball team, Amelia deserves to compete in a safe and fair environment. But the new rules could unfairly force her to compete against male athletes who identify as female and share locker rooms and even hotel rooms for overnight trips with them.

Finally, as a Christian, Amelia understands that it would be wrong to lie to her classmates by referring to them using pronouns that do not match their biological sex. But the Biden administration’s rules could compel her to say things that she knows to be false.

ADF attorneys are representing Amelia, and we filed a lawsuit alongside the states of Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota challenging the Biden administration.

State of Kansas v. U.S. Department of Education

In Oklahoma, ADF attorneys are representing 13-year-old Katie Rowland, who also is threatened by the Biden administration’s redefinition of sex. Katie was forced to endure an embarrassing and potentially unsafe situation when she encountered male students who identified as female in the girls’ restroom at her school. She was so uncomfortable that she began to avoid using school restrooms at school altogether.

Oklahoma subsequently passed a law ensuring only girls could use girls’ restrooms, allowing Katie to use the school facilities once again without feeling uncomfortable or unsafe. But the Biden administration’s new rules would override Oklahoma’s law and force schools to allow males who identify as female into girls’ restrooms.

Women and girls deserve to feel safe and comfortable in private spaces like restrooms, locker rooms, and showers. No girl should have to share these spaces with a male at school. ADF filed a lawsuit as co-plaintiffs with Kansas, Utah, Wyoming, and Alaska to defend women and girls, and the case is pending before a federal district court.

Case timelines

  • State of Tennessee v. Cardona
    • April 30, 2024: Attorneys general from Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Virginia, and West Virginia filed a lawsuit challenging the Biden administration’s redefinition of “sex” in Title IX.
    • May 3, 2024: ADF asked a federal district court to allow Adaleia Cross and Christian Educators Association International to intervene in the states’ lawsuit to stop the Biden administration’s unlawful Title IX rule changes.
    • May 8, 2024: A federal district court granted ADF attorneys’ motion to intervene on behalf of Adaleia Cross and Christian Educators Association International.
  • State of Arkansas v. U.S. Department of Education
    • May 7, 2024: ADF attorneys filed a lawsuit on behalf of Amelia Ford challenging the Biden administration’s new Title IX rules alongside Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
  • State of Kansas v. U.S. Department of Education
    • May 14, 2024: ADF attorneys filed a lawsuit on behalf of Katie Rowland and a group of female athletes as co-plaintiffs with Kansas, Utah, Wyoming, and Alaska to defend women and girls from the Biden administration’s harmful new Title IX rules.