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Oklahoma AG praises appeals court ruling that blocks new Title IX rules from taking effect

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Oklahoma AG praises appeals court ruling that blocks new Title IX rules from taking effect

Jun 20, 2024 | 2:45 pm ET
By Kennedy Thomason
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Oklahoma AG praises appeals court ruling that blocks new Title IX rules from taking effect
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The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of 20 states, including Oklahoma, that new Title IX rules regarding sexual orientation and gender identity would not go into effect. (Photo by Nuria Martinez-Keel/Oklahoma Voice)

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma’s top attorney celebrated a court decision that blocks the Biden administration from redefining Title IX. 

The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday that the U.S. Department of Education’s attempt to include sexual orientation and gender identity in Title IX was invalid. The court ruled the Administrative Procedures Act was likely violated because the U.S. Department of Education did not adhere to required notice-and-comment rules. 

The ruling will maintain Oklahoma law that requires schools and universities to provide separate bathrooms, locker rooms and sports based on sex assigned at birth, said Attorney General Gentner Drummond. Oklahoma is among over a dozen states that ban transgender girls and women from participating in female sports. 

Twenty states, including Oklahoma, filed legal challenges against the Biden administration’s new rules, which seek to prohibit discrimination against gender identity and sexual orientation in education activities and programs that receive federal aid. 

After a federal district court granted a preliminary injunction blocking the rules from taking effect Aug. 1, the federal Department of Education asked the Sixth Circuit Court to reverse the ruling.

The Sixth Circuit ruling applies to all 20 states that have challenged the provision.

Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond said the decision will protect female students. 

“I am thankful that the Biden Administration will not be allowed to completely rewrite Title IX with its misplaced gender policy,” Drummond said in a statement. “Oklahoma schools and universities should not be penalized for following state law that protects female students on the athletic field, as well as in bathrooms and locker rooms. The Court’s decision is a victory for state sovereignty and all who believe young women deserve safe spaces at school.”

In April, state Superintendent Ryan Walters instructed Oklahoma’s public schools to ignore the updated federal regulations. The rules would have put Oklahoma schools at odds with the federal government. 

Drummond sued to block the new Title IX rules, saying they were unfair to female students and athletes.