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House speaker says Utah will “protect women’s sports” and sue over Title IX changes

Utah House Speaker Mike Schultz said the state would sue over changes to Title IX – which the Biden administration insisted “prohibits discrimination against LGBTQI+ students” but which others provide an opportunity for trans athletes see in girls sports.

“We will not let the Biden administration and the Democrats destroy women’s sports in the state of Utah,” Schultz said in a 2News interview. “It's not going to happen.”

Title IX is a federal law passed by Congress in 1972 that aims to eliminate discrimination based on sex.

Following the changes announced by the US Department of Education two weeks ago, other states have now filed lawsuits – including Florida, Texas, South Carolina, Indiana and Ohio.

While “the final regulations do not contain any new rules for sports team criteria,” they appear to be aimed at preventing schools from “denying anyone participation in school (including gender-segregated activities) consistent with their gender identity.”

This appears to allow students to use restrooms and locker rooms based on their gender identity, something Utah lawmakers voted to ban statewide in the last legislative session — although lawmakers also called for “private” spaces for students who are not feeling comfortable in group toilets.

Schultz said the state's lawsuit over changes to Title IX could be filed as early as this week.

“We will apply to the courts for an injunction,” he said. “We will not be enforcing this Biden administration rule.”

The Democratic leader in the Utah House of Representatives called the changes to Title IX “positive and critical” and a big step toward ensuring equal rights in schools.

“It is important to note that these changes do not weaken existing protections for women,” said Rep. Angela Romero, D-Salt Lake, “but rather provide protection for previously overlooked forms of discrimination.”

The Department of Education's new Title IX regulations are scheduled to take effect on August 1st.

Anna Harden

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