A Texas judge denied the Biden administration’s effort to dismiss Texas’ lawsuit targeting the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which had issued controversial guidance allowing exceptions for LGBT employees from workplace policies.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had issued guidance in March 2020 that mandated mixed-use bathrooms, gender pronouns, and dress codes in the workplace; the Biden administration’s Health and Human Services had issued guidance against Texas’s child abuse laws and “sex-change” procedures.
“The federal government asked the judge to dismiss the case for several reasons, including the claim that the Supreme Court interpreted sex discrimination to include gender identity as well as biological sex in Bostock v. Clayton County and that these guidance documents were only summaries, not binding rules,” The Texan reported.
“The Biden Administration’s constant attack on Texas values will not be met without a fight,” Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton said. “We stand by the law of the land and will not bend to Biden’s empty threats that twist the U.S. Constitution. I will protect our children from life-altering procedures that put their lives at risk. Texans will not be bullied to adopt the Biden Administration’s sexual ideology. I look forward to our day in court.”
The Biden Administration also argued that Texas’ lawsuit was premature because President Biden’s threatened enforcement actions had not yet been implemented. But Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk sided with Texas.
“The March 2 Guidance ‘does not simply repeat the relevant provisions’ of the statutes and regulations it relies on,” Kacsmaryk wrote. “Instead, the March 2 Guidance ‘purports to interpret authoritatively’ those statutory and regulatory requirements. The March 2 Guidance states: ‘Section 1557 protects the right of individuals to access the health programs and activities of recipients of federal financial assistance without facing discrimination on the basis of sex, which includes discrimination on the basis of gender identity.’”
“Therefore — according to HHS — ‘[c]ategorically refusing to provide treatment to an individual based on their gender identity is prohibited discrimination,’ and ‘federally-funded covered entities restricting an individual’s ability to receive medically necessary care, including gender-affirming care, from their health care provider solely on the basis of their sex assigned at birth or gender identity likely violates Section 1557,’” he noted.
“But Section 1557 does not include the terms ‘sex’ or ‘gender identity I,” he explained. “Instead, Section 1557 expressly incorporates Title IX, which prohibits discrimination ‘on the basis of sex.’ Based on the ordinary public meaning conveyed when Congress enacted Title IX and “judicially accepted principles of linguistics in reading the whole — including compositionality . . . . Title IX appears to operate in binary terms — male and female — when it references ‘sex.’”