NC officials, candidates react to Biden’s Title IX change

Republicans slammed the changes; Democrats failed to respond

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), chair of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, holds up a copy of Republican legislation that would prohibit transgender women and girls from playing on sports teams that match their gender identity on April 17 in Washington, D.C. (J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo)

RALEIGH —The Biden administration’s U.S. Department of Education finalized its Title IX rule change last month, adding “gender identity” as a protected class, opening the door for transgender women to play on women’s sports teams and use women’s spaces in schools.

Republican North Carolina elected officials and candidates running for top state offices oppose the changes.

“The Department of Education has placed Title IX, and the decades of advancement and protections for women and girls that it has yielded, squarely on the chopping block,” Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Rep. Virginia Foxx (NC-05), a Republican, said in a statement. “This final rule dumps kerosene on the already raging fire that is Democrats’ contemptuous culture war that aims to radically redefine sex and gender.

“The rule also undermines existing due process rights, placing students and institutions in legal jeopardy and again undermining the protections Title IX is intended to provide. Evidently, the acceptance of biological reality, and the faithful implementation of the law, are just pills too big for the Department to swallow — and it shows.”

N.C. Rep. Dan Bishop (R-08), who is leaving Congress to run for N.C. attorney general, said if he’s elected, he will join other state attorneys general in fighting the rule.

“I certainly will join in and I’ve already checked with some colleagues who are sitting Republican attorneys general, and I know that there are plans to challenge this rule,” Bishop told North State Journal.

Legal challenges from the states have already begun. Attorneys general from Florida, Texas and Louisiana have filed lawsuits. Mississippi, Montana and Idaho have joined Louisiana’s lawsuit, while Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina have joined Florida’s filing.

“Florida rejects Joe Biden’s attempt to rewrite Title IX,” Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis said in an April 25 video on X. “We will not comply, and we will fight back.”

Like DeSantis, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry have also said their states will not comply. Abbott even ordered the Texas Education Agency to ignore Biden’s Title IX rule change.

“So, this is a massive fight, and one of the key responsibilities of attorneys general is to protect the fundamental rights of Americans,” Bishop said. “And since Title IX was passed in 1972, its purpose was to protect women’s ability to have an opportunity to compete athletically and develop those opportunities.

“But the Biden administration, like the Obama administration before it, has declared itself to be 100% opposed to those opportunities for women; they’re looking to destroy them, and I’m going to oppose it in every way that I can.”

Freshman N.C. Congressman Rep. Jeff Jackson (D-14), also running for N.C. attorney general, was contacted multiple times by North State Journal but did not respond.

N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein, who is running for governor, also failed to respond to multiple requests for comment.

Regarding possible legal challenges filed against Republican-led legislation regarding women’s sports in N.C. and the state’s new law limiting abortion to 12 weeks, Stein has signaled he wouldn’t defend the state in those cases.

“We will have to see those complaints once they are filed and determine the strengths of their legal arguments,” Stein said during a July 2023 interview with WFAE’s Steve Harrison. “But as a matter of policy, I know how I would have voted — no.”

North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, Stein’s opponent in the gubernatorial race, also disagreed with the Biden administration’s change.

“This is nonsense,” Robinson said in a statement through his campaign to North State Journal. “Joe Biden and Josh Stein want to erase decades of work by women to level the playing field in sports and more.

“North Carolinians should be outraged that our attorney general Josh Stein is not fighting this extreme agenda in court. As governor, I will do everything in my power to protect the privacy, safety and equality of women and girls — including in places like restrooms and locker rooms, as well as in sports.”

State Superintendent Catherine Truitt, the state’s top education official, also issued a statement to North State Journal.

“This new Title IX rule will have drastic implications on women’s only spaces in the K-12 setting such as bathrooms and locker rooms,” said Truitt. “It will disenfranchise women by enabling participation in extracurricular activities and application for scholarships based on gender identity, as opposed to biological sex, and will rob women of the very opportunities Title IX was initially created to protect.

“I am hopeful this rule will be challenged and that sex-separate sports will be protected in order to keep girls and women safe in K-12 spaces and beyond.”

About A.P. Dillon 1293 Articles
A.P. Dillon is a North State Journal reporter located near Raleigh, North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_