A U.S. federal court has issued a major ruling rejecting the Biden administration’s attempt to redefine the word “sex” to include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” in federal law. The ruling protects both female athletes and doctors who affirm in the biological reality of male and female.

The ruling comes after the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced in May 2021 that it would unilaterally redefine the word “sex” in Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and in Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act to include “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”

After that announcement, two doctors sued HHS, arguing that this redefinition would force them to perform harmful medical procedures that purport to change a person’s biological sex, even it violated their religious beliefs or best medical judgement.

In an amicus brief (friend-of-the-court brief), attorneys with Alliance Defending Freedom told the court earlier this year that the Biden Administration’s mandate would also directly impact female athletes by “requiring them to compete against men on women’s sports teams.”

In Monday’s ruling, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk wrote that the “reinterpretation of Title IX through the Notification imperils the very opportunities for women Title IX was designed to promote and protect—categorically forcing biological women to compete against biological men.”

“Title IX expressly allows sex distinctions and sometimes even requires them to promote equal opportunity,” the judge added (emphasis in original).

“Female athletes deserve to compete on a fair and level playing field with other women, and federal law protects equal opportunity for women to excel in sports,” said ADF Legal Counsel Rachel Csutoros after the ruling.

“We’re pleased the court ruled to not only protect female athletes, but also doctors who should never be forced to perform controversial and medically dangerous procedures that violate their conscience and religious beliefs,” Csutoros added. “In its opinion, the court rightly stopped the Biden administration’s gross overreach of its authority and political agenda.”

The case is Neese v. Becerra.

Photo from Alliance Defending Freedom.