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Ky. AG Cameron asks appeals court to block Biden protections for trans athletes

Kate Howard

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameronis asking a federal appeals courtto uphold a ruling that blocked the Biden administration’s protections for trans student athletes.

Cameron, a Republican, joined attorneys general from 18 other states – including Indiana and Ohio – in the suit led by Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti. The group filed a brief with the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to halt the Biden administration from “forcing schools” to “allow biological males to compete on female sports teams,” Cameron’s release said.

This brief is in direct opposition to the Biden administration’s broadening of the U.S. Department of Education and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s interpretation of Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, which moved to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

“Women athletes in Kentucky deserve the opportunity to compete on a level playing field,” Cameron said. “This brief represents our latest effort to preserve the integrity of women’s sports and ensure schools in the Commonwealth are not forced to follow unlawful federal guidance that conflicts with Kentucky law.”

Cameron joined a similar coalition in July 2022 challenging the EEOC’s guidance, which resulted in a federal district court halting the policy. The brief argues that the Biden administration’s interpretation of Title IX is “based on a flawed understanding” of Bostock v. Clayton County, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that included gender identity and sexual orientation in sex discrimination protections.

This effort follows the Kentucky General Assembly’s passage of Senate Bill 83, a measure passed in 2022 that bans trans girls from participating in girls and women’s sports.

Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear vetoed the bill, but lawmakers easily overrode the move.

American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky senior staff attorney Heather Gatnarek decried Cameron’s efforts.

“The EEOC’s interpretation is the result of decades of federal legal precedent recognizing anti-transgender discrimination is sex discrimination, including the Supreme Court’s own logic in Bostock. More importantly, the EEOC is offering communities and administrators a blueprint for safer schools and campuses for students and faculty alike,” Gatnarek said in a statement. “Equality and inclusion are not a zero-sum game, and it’s awful Attorney General Cameron would work so hard to make our schools more hostile places for some of our most vulnerable students while doing comparatively little to help all students thrive.”

A native of western Kentucky, Operle earned his bachelor's degree in integrated strategic communications from the University of Kentucky in 2014. Operle spent five years working for Paxton Media/The Paducah Sun as a reporter and editor. In addition to his work in the news industry, Operle is a passionate movie lover and concertgoer.
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