Washington, D.C. – The Biden regime has implemented a controversial new rule that links federal school lunch funding to compliance with progressive gender and sexuality ideologies. This rule, enforced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is viewed by legal experts as the beginning of a series of regulations connecting federal education funding to policies on gender and sexuality.
In May 2022, the USDA announced a significant shift in its interpretation of Title IX, a law that broadly addresses discrimination in education. The agency declared that its ban on sex-based discrimination would now encompass discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. As a result, state and local agencies, program operators, and sponsors receiving funds from the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of the USDA are required to investigate allegations of discrimination based on these grounds and update their non-discrimination policies accordingly.
𝐁𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐧 𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐬 𝐥𝐮𝐧𝐜𝐡 𝐦𝐨𝐧𝐞𝐲 𝐟𝐫𝐨𝐦 𝐬𝐜𝐡𝐨𝐨𝐥𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐫𝐞𝐣𝐞𝐜𝐭 𝐖𝐨𝐤𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬🍽️🚫— Right Angle News Network (@Rightanglenews) December 3, 2023
The Biden regime is now to withhold lunch money from schools that reject the "woke" agenda. The rule requires public schools to comply with new far-left mandates… pic.twitter.com/DoGN2ZcwcZ
Experts argue that this is an unprecedented reinterpretation of Title IX, impacting legal and financial aspects significantly. Schools receiving federal funding, such as Pell grants or federally subsidized school lunch programs, must adhere to this new interpretation or risk losing their funding. Sarah Perry, a lawyer at the Heritage Foundation, emphasized the magnitude of this change, noting that Title IX, established in 1972, did not originally include protections for sexual orientation and gender identity.
The practical implications of this rule are vast, potentially leading to schools accommodating transgender students in facilities corresponding to their gender identity and adhering to preferred pronoun usage. However, the rule has faced significant opposition. Senate Republicans attempted to overturn the USDA’s reinterpretation via the Congressional Review Act but failed in a 47-50 vote.
Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kans.) criticized the administration for using school lunch funding to further a “radical agenda” and claimed that this policy has already impacted funding for low-income children. Nearly two dozen states have filed a joint legal challenge against the USDA’s reinterpretation, citing previous successes in similar challenges against federal efforts.
The legal battle is expected to escalate, potentially reaching the U.S. Supreme Court due to the significance of Title IX and the nationwide implications of a ruling. Some religious schools have already filed lawsuits, with one Florida Christian school settling out of court in 2022. The USDA has since announced exemptions for religious schools, but a church and its preschool in California have sued, claiming a loss of school lunch funding for non-compliance with gender identity policies in employment practices.
Furthermore, the Department of Education is reportedly formulating similar rules, expected to be released in spring 2024. These rules, delayed due to criticism and concerns, indicate a broader federal effort to redefine sex to include sexuality and gender identity, with far-reaching implications across various government sectors.
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