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DeSantis: Florida 'will not comply' with new Biden Title IX rules

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said Thursday his state “will not comply” with recently unveiled changes to Title IX by the Biden administration.

“Florida rejects [President Biden’s] attempt to rewrite Title IX,” DeSantis said in a video posted to the social platform X. “We will not comply, and we will fight back.”

“We are not gonna let Joe Biden try to inject men into women’s activities,” DeSantis continued. “We are not gonna let Joe Biden undermine the rights of parents, and we are not gonna let Joe Biden abuse his constitutional authority to try to impose these policies on us here in Florida.”

The Biden administration on Friday unveiled a final set of changes to Title IX that add protections for transgender students to the federal civil rights law on sex-based discrimination. The changes will take effect in early August.

“These final regulations build on the legacy of Title IX by clarifying that all our nation’s students can access schools that are safe, welcoming, and respect their rights,” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said in a statement.

DeSantis has been criticized by LGBTQ advocates in the past for state laws they say harm their community, including the so-called Don’t Say Gay law that restricts discussion on LGBTQ topics in Florida public schools.

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The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest LGBTQ advocacy group, partnered with a Florida LGBTQ advocacy group last year to issue an advisory against traveling to Florida.

“Taken in their totality, Florida’s slate of laws and policies targeting basic freedoms and rights pose significant risk to the health and safety of many considering relocation and/or temporary travel to the state,” HRC and Equality Florida’s travel advisory reads.

The Hill has reached out to the White House.

Brandon Wolf, the national press secretary for HRC, said in an emailed statement to The Hill that “already, politicians in Florida, Louisiana, Oklahoma and elsewhere are leaping to oppose crucial protections for students in America’s schools.”

“These MAGA politicians are choosing theatrics and hateful rhetoric over protecting and furthering the needs of their state’s students,” Wolf said in the statement. “Refusing to comply with Title IX could have damaging consequences for schools, including significant loss in funding on the order of hundreds of millions of dollars — dollars that should be going to helping young people achieve academic excellence. That appears to be a sacrifice that those whose only priorities are themselves and their own political profiles are willing to make.”

Jon Harris Maurer, Equality Florida’s public policy director, also said in an emailed statement Thursday that DeSantis “cannot ignore federal protections designed to safeguard students and families, including LGBTQ students, survivors of sexual assault and harassment, and pregnant students.”

“Thousands of parents have rallied at school board meetings to oppose policies that use their children’s classrooms as political battlegrounds. We will continue to work with parents across the state to foster an environment where every student can learn and thrive.”

“The Department crafted the final Title IX regulations following a rigorous process to give complete effect to the Title IX statutory guarantee that no person experiences sex discrimination in federally funded education,” a U.S. Department of Education spokesperson said in an emailed statement to The Hill Thursday.

“As a condition of receiving federal funds, all federally funded schools are obligated to comply with these final regulations and we look forward to working with school communities all across the country to ensure the Title IX guarantee of nondiscrimination in school is every student’s experience.”

In a memo dated Thursday and shared with The Hill, Florida’s Commissioner of Education, Manny Diaz Jr., told school leaders that Florida “will fight” the changes to Title IX.

“Instead of implementing Congress’s clear directive to prevent discrimination based on biological sex, the Biden Administration maims the statute beyond recognition in an attempt to gaslight the country into believing that biological sex no longer has any meaning,” Diaz’s memo reads.

This story was updated at 4:35 p.m.

Source: The Hill

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