UN Expert Voices Concern Over Biden Administration’s Title IX Proposal, Warns of ‘Detrimental Effects’

A UN expert criticized the Biden administration’s Title IX proposal on Wednesday, which would prohibit schools and universities from prohibiting transgender athletes and broaden the definition of sexual discrimination to include gender identity.

The proposed revisions, according to Reem Alsalem, a U.N. special rapporteur on violence against women and girls, would infringe upon the rights of biological women and girls to equality and nondiscrimination as student-athletes.

“I share the concern expressed by women and girl athletes and women sports organizations, as well as women and girls on sports scholarships, that the proposed Title IX rule changes would have negative impacts on the participation of biological women and girls in sports, including by denying them a chance to compete fairly, resulting in the loss of athletic and scholarship opportunities,” Alsalem said in a press release.

UN Expert Voices Concern Over Biden Administration's Title IX Proposal, Warns of 'Detrimental Effects' (1)

Alsalem further mentioned that the Title IX legislation might eliminate women’s and girls’ private areas.

“More crucially, it would lead to the loss of privacy, a higher chance of physical injury, heightened exposure to sexual harassment and voyeurism, as well as a more common and accumulated psychological distress due to the loss of privacy and fair and equal sporting and learning opportunities,” she stated.

“If the proposed changes are adopted, they would contravene the United States’ international human rights obligations and commitments concerning the prevention of all forms of violence and discrimination against women and girls based on sex.”

The proposed regulation from the Education Department would prohibit any college or school receiving federal financing from enforcing a “one-size-fits-all” policy that forbids transgender students from participating in sports teams that correspond with their gender identity. These kinds of policies would be deemed to be against Title IX.

“The U.S. Department of Education (Department) proposes to amend its regulations carrying out Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) to set out a standard that would govern a recipient’s acceptance or application of sex-related criteria that would limit or reject a student’s eligibility for a place on a male or female athletic team consistent with their gender identity,” the Department of Education wrote in April.

“The proposed regulation would clarify Title IX’s application to such sex-related criteria and the obligation of schools and other people of Federal financial assistance from the Department (referred to below as ‘recipients’ or ‘schools’) that embrace or apply such criteria to do so consistent with Title IX’s nondiscrimination mandate.”

“The proposed rule affirms that students enjoy the chance to join a school sports team to learn about teamwork, leadership, and physical fitness,” the administration stated in a press release.

UN Expert Voices Concern Over Biden Administration's Title IX Proposal, Warns of 'Detrimental Effects' (2)

“Policies that explicitly prohibit transgender students from playing on sports teams that correspond with their gender identity simply because of who they are violating Title IX, according to the proposed regulation.

The proposed regulation also acknowledges that certain schools may implement policies that restrict the participation of transgender students in some situations, especially in competitive high school and college sporting environments.

“The proposed rule would provide schools with a framework for developing criteria for eligibility that protects students from being denied equal athletic opportunity while giving schools the freedom to develop their participation policies.”

Miguel Cardona, the education secretary, has stated that he is in favor of enabling biological male transgender athletes to participate in women’s sports. During his confirmation hearing, he stated that all children should be free to engage in activities and that it is “critically important” for educators and school systems to “respect the rights of all students, including students who are transgender”.

The suggested modifications would “contravene the United States’ obligations under international human rights law,” the U.N. expert cautioned.

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