The new federal protections, which take effect in September, have been blocked in Ohio and nine other states
Bald white man talking into a mic

Photo by HL Comeriato

This article first appeared in the Buckeye Flame.

In April, the Biden administration announced changes to Title IX, the landmark civil rights law, that would explicitly protect LGBTQ+ student-athletes from discrimination for the first time in history. 

Since then, attorneys general in at least 22 states have sued the administration in an attempt to block the changes, including Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost.

In nine of those states, including Ohio, federal judges have specifically blocked the Title IX protections for transgender and intersex students from taking effect.

The Title IX amendments, which are still set to take effect in September in 40 states, triggered a cascade of anti-LGBTQ+ backlash across the country – including at the Ohio Statehouse, where conservative lawmakers have been rallying against the changes for months.

In the Ohio Senate, Andrew Brenner (R-Delaware) introduced Senate Concurrent Resolution 11 just days after Yost announced the lawsuit, urging the U.S. Department of Education to exclude Title IX protections based on “orientation and gender identity.”

During his resolution’s first hearing, Brenner provided sponsor testimony that included medical and scientific inaccuracies regarding transgender and intersex people.

Brenner repeatedly cited the American College of Pediatricians (ACPeds), a small, fringe medical group that has been designated as an anti-LGBTQ+ hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center since at least 2014.

The group is part of a small anti-transgender movement that has gained outsized conservative support, influencing policy across the country.

Ohio House Reps. Beth Lear (R-Galena), Adam Bird (R-New Richmond) and Angie King (R-Celina) attended an anti-transgender event outside the Ohio Statehouse organized by the Independent Women’s Forum (IWF), a right-wing nonprofit.

The rally was one of more than a dozen stops on IWF’s summer bus tour: a public campaign rife with medical and scientific inaccuracies regarding transgender athletes – specifically transgender girls and women.

Reps. Lear, Bird and King have each introduced or supported anti-LGBTQ+ legislation in the Ohio House, including House Bill (HB) 68 – Ohio’s tentative ban on healthcare for transgender youth.