If you want schools in your state to feed low-income students using funds from the national school lunch program administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), you’ll need to allow men who believe they are women to play in women’s sports, use women’s restrooms, locker rooms and shower facilities, room with women on overnight trips, and use so-called preferred pronouns.
Those are the effects of the new rules from the Biden administration, and conservative states are not taking the radical policy lying down. Twenty-two states, through their attorneys general, have sued the federal government over the rules. Tennessee Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III, a Republican, is spearheading the multi-state coalition effort.
“This case is, yet again, about a federal agency trying to change law, which is Congress’ exclusive prerogative,” General Slatery said in a press release. “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.”
As the Daily Citizen reported at the beginning of his administration, President Joe Biden instructed federal agencies under his control to redefine the word “sex” in their non-discrimination policies to include sexual orientation and gender identity, citing the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2020 decision in Bostock v. Clayton County.
That case dealt with Title VII, the federal nondiscrimination law dealing with employment, ruling that adverse employment decisions made on the basis that the employee identified as homosexual or “transgender” constituted “sex discrimination.”
However, Justice Neil Gorsuch, the author of the court’s majority opinion, explained that Bostock’s reasoning could not be expanded beyond federal employment law and the narrow question before the court in that case.
“What are these consequences anyway?” Gorsuch wrote. “The employers worry that our decision will sweep beyond Title VII to other federal or state laws that prohibit sex discrimination. And under Title VII itself, they say sex-segregated bathrooms, locker rooms, and dress codes will prove unsustainable after our decision today.
“But none of these other laws are before us; we have not had the benefit of adversarial testing about the meaning of their terms, and we do not prejudge any such question today. Under Title VII, too, we do not purport to address bathrooms, locker rooms, or anything else of the kind.”
But a couple of lower courts were eager to use Bostock to redefine sex under Title IX, the federal law banning discrimination in education, and that opened the door to exactly what the current administration hoped for – an excuse to force its gender identity policies on the nation’s schools.
The current administration, beginning in early 2021, sought to expand Bostock’s reasoning to other federal statutes that weren’t included in the decision. It started with an Executive Order, and has spread to the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Education, and now the USDA.
Not only has the administration hijacked the school lunch program to expand its sexual ideology into the nation’s public schools, but as another recent lawsuit highlights, the new policy forces Christian and other religious schools to violate their deeply held beliefs about the value of male and female if they want to minister to low-income students with the taxpayer-funded school lunch program.
The administration is holding the nation’s neediest children hostage in order to push a deeply unpopular policy on the American people.
The 22 states now suing the administration allege that the new rules for the school lunch program “inappropriately expand the law far beyond what statutory text, regulatory requirements, judicial precedent, and the U.S. Constitution permit.”
The states involved in the lawsuit include Tennessee, Indiana, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia.
The case is Tennessee v. U.S. Department of Agriculture.
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