A Republican-led group of 20 states is suing the Biden administration after concluding that various federal government departments are engaging in overreaching interpretations of last year’s Supreme Court decision that expanded protections for LGBT people against discrimination.
A complaint filed Monday, Aug. 30, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, led by Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery, alleges that the Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission “issued ‘interpretations’ of federal anti-discrimination law far beyond what is set forth in the statutory text, regulatory requirements, judicial precedent, and the Constitution.”
In 2020, the Supreme Court ruled in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, or identity.
The focus of the complaint is that the various agencies under the Biden administration have interpreted the Supreme Court decision to include protections for transgender individuals concerning using restrooms, locker rooms, or competing in sporting events of persons of the opposite biological sex.
In this regard, Slatery argues that federal institutions do not “have the authority” to extrapolate the Supreme Court’s decision and use it to endorse extreme situations such as those cited above.
While the court did not rule on the issue of gender-segregated restrooms or locker rooms, but that has not stopped federal agencies such as the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) from trying, Slatery argues.
The EEOC said in a separate guide that, following the Bostock ruling, Title VII would allow transgender workers to use the restrooms of their choice and dress as they wish based on their gender identity.
The Department of Education also made controversial interpretations, such as when it reported in the June 2021 guidance that its Office for Civil Rights decided that, based on the Bostock ruling, the agency’s application of Title IX’s ban on sex discrimination could also include sexual orientation and gender identity.
“The Supreme Court has upheld the right for LGBTQ+ people to live and work without fear of harassment, exclusion, and discrimination – and our LGBTQ+ students have the same rights and deserve the same protections,” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said at the time, The Hill reported.
Slatery said of these institutions that the agencies mentioned above had misinterpreted the Supreme Court’s Bostock decision “by claiming its prohibition of discrimination applies to locker rooms, showers, and bathrooms under Title IX and Title VII and biological men who identify as women competing in women’s sports, when the Supreme Court specifically said it was not deciding those issues in Bostock.”
These decisions have generated intense controversies in almost every state between the different sectors that defend gender policies and those who understand that the measures promoted in many cases go beyond the supposed function that is to generate an environment without hostility for those who have different sexual orientations.
The disputes have reached the courts where in many cases the judges of each state are deciding whether to address these controversial directives, limit them, or in some cases reject them.