Federal judge blocks Biden Administration attempt to redefine sex discrimination


FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) - A federal district court judge blocked the Biden Administration’s attempt to force medical professionals to adhere to its gender politics over medical reality.

In May, Kentucky joined a 15-state coalition to challenge the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ regulation that redefined sex discrimination.

U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola Jr. sided with 15 states that argued the language the rule was based on - the 1972 Title IX nondiscrimination law - encompasses biological sex, but not gender identity. Guirola's injunction applies nationwide for the Affordable Care Act rule, which would have gone into effect Friday.

It is another blow to the Biden Administration's efforts to expand anti-discrimination protections. In the past few weeks, three federal judges have blocked a rule in several states that would protect LGBTQ+ students by expanding the definition of sexual harassment at schools and colleges under Title IX.

Health care protections based on gender identity had been added under the Obama Administration and removed under former President Donald Trump.

Under the rule banned in the latest decision, medical providers would be compelled to perform surgeries and administer hormone drugs to children and adults for the purpose of gender transition. The rule would have also required providers to use gender-affirming pronouns and allow patients into sex-segregated spaces on the basis of gender identity instead of biological sex. Any provider who refused to comply with the Biden Administration’s gender rules would face severe penalties.

“Medical professionals should be focused on healing patients, not the federal government’s political agenda,” Kentucky Attorney General Russell Coleman said. “It’s unthinkable that we would compel doctors and nurses to perform life-altering surgeries on children that defy their conscience and state law. We’ll continue standing firm for Kentucky against the Biden Administration’s extreme agenda that puts politics over common sense.”

By granting the nationwide preliminary injunction blocking the regulation, the U.S. District Court in Mississippi found Coleman and the coalition are likely to win on the merits of the case and that allowing the rule to take effect would carry a substantial threat of imminent irreparable harm.

Last month, Coleman and Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti led a six-state coalition to block a similar effort to erode Title IX and equal opportunities for women in education and athletics. The Biden Administration has appealed that ruling, and Coleman continues fighting in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.  

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said the Biden administration "attempted to undermine Title IX by dramatically reinterpreting its meaning to now apply to gender identity."

Read the Mississippi court’s Preliminary Injunction and the Opinion and Order.


This story first appeared in Kentucky Today. The Associated Press contributed to this report.