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Tipsheet

State Attorneys General Challenge Biden Admin’s ‘Gender Identity’ Policies

AP Photo/Armando Franca

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery (R) is leading 22 states in a lawsuit to stop the Biden administration from threatening to withhold nutrition assistance from schools and programs that violate “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” policies.

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Slatery and Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita (R) filed the lawsuit on Tuesday in the Eastern District of Tennessee. The lawsuit seeks to stop the administration from “enforcing an expansive and unlawful interpretation of federal antidiscrimination laws under the threat of withdrawing key food assistance program funding.”

According to a press release from Slatery’s office, the coalition challenges new regulations put forth by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that “attempt to force states and schools to adopt a new and unlawful application of the Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton County as it applies to antidiscrimination requirements.”

“This case is, yet again, about a federal agency trying to change law, which is Congress’ exclusive prerogative,” Slatery said in a statement. “The USDA simply does not have that authority. We have successfully challenged the Biden Administration’s other attempts to rewrite law and we will challenge this as well.”

The press release pointed out that Tennessee and 19 other state’s attorneys general challenged similar guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. A federal district court ruled that the federal government cannot force states to allow biological males to compete on women’s sports teams and compel individuals to use biological inaccurate “preferred pronouns.”

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Attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia joined Slatery and Rokita in the lawsuit filed July 26. Last month, the attorneys general sent a letter to Biden calling on him to withdraw the USDA guidance.

“States – including the Plaintiff States – do not discriminate in the distribution of SNAP-funded assistance based on age, race, color, sex, disability, religious creed, national origin, or political beliefs,” the lawsuit states. “Nor do the States deny SNAP certification of applicant households based on household members’ sexual orientation or gender identity.”

“But the States do challenge the unlawful and unnecessary new obligations and liabilities that the Memoranda and Final Rule attempt to impose – obligations that apparently stretch as far as ending sex-separated living facilities and athletics and mandating the use of biologically inaccurate preferred pronouns.”

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