WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, female college athletes, college students, parents, and state attorneys general filed a blockbuster lawsuit against the Biden administration’s illegal Title IX regulation. The recently announced regulation upends the 1972 Title IX law, which forbids discrimination against women and girls, including by providing males access to girls’ locker rooms and bathrooms and requiring speech codes that indoctrinate young students with gender ideology. The regulation also ends basic due process rights owed every student by limiting individuals accused of sexual harassment from defending themselves.

The lawsuit was filed by Independent Women’s Forum (IWF), Parents Defending Education, Speech First, and the states of Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina.  

Riley Gaines, former 12-time All-American swimmer at the University of Kentucky and Independent Women’s Forum ambassador, said: “Women and men are equal, but we are not the same. Sex does not equal gender identity, but according to the Biden administration’s illegal and discriminatory new Omnibus Title IX rule, it is perfectly acceptable to strip away the sole purpose of Title IX – to provide equal opportunity for women under the law. Now, protections meant for women under the country’s landmark sex equality law have been eliminated. I have no doubt that we will not only win this lawsuit but also expose how anti-woman this president and his administration truly are.”

Paula Scanlan, former University of Pennsylvania swimmer and Independent Women’s Forum ambassador, said: “If allowed to stand, the Biden administration’s new rule will set women back decades, eroding the impressive gains that Title IX ushered in. This lawsuit tackles head-on the unethical charge that sex is equivalent to gender identity. Sex and gender are not the same, and stripping out sex from Title IX upends all protections for women in education — including the preservation of women’s-only sports and spaces.”

“Fifty years ago, Title IX gave women and girls across this country the right to an education on equal terms as men. Now, the Biden administration wants to force girls to change in front of men, compete against men on the field, and take sex education alongside any male who decides he would like to join the girls’ class. That is not only a bad idea, but it has nothing to do with any law passed by Congress and certainly not Title IX. We look forward to winning this case and restoring the equal rights women deserve,” said May Mailman, director of the Independent Women’s Law Center (IWLC), an organization that fights for the rights of women as equal, not interchangeable, with men. IWLC is the legal advocacy arm of Independent Women’s Forum and Independent Women’s Voice.

“The role of Cabinet agencies is to interpret laws as written by Congress – not to redefine the meaning of words to suit a fringe group of activists. The final rule lays bare the Biden Administration’s contempt for families, trumping state laws which reiterate parents’ right to access information and make decisions about issues related to their children’s gender identity in schools. By lowering the standard of ‘harassment’ to little more than a one-off expression of humor, satire, or parody, the free speech rights of every young learner in America has become subordinate to how the most sensitive student might interpret a phrase. This Title IX rule is both unconstitutional and immoral, and we look forward to vindicating our members’ rights in court,” said Nicole Neily, president of Parents Defending Education (PDE), a nationwide membership organization whose members oppose political indoctrination in America’s schools.

“The new Title IX rule will once again put Speech First’s student members’ speech rights under threat. The Biden Administration has abandoned the important speech protections that were previously included in the Title IX rule for the last four years, leaving students completely exposed to potential First Amendment violations. Under the new rule, students can be reported for merely expressing their opinions about controversial political and social issues of the day or even if they prefer not to use someone’s “preferred pronouns” or other “gender-affirming” language. This is compelled speech, and it is unconstitutional. The weaponization of Title IX and other campus harassment policies used to target students’ constitutionally protected speech needs to come to an end. It is no secret that the political discourse on college campuses is in an abysmal state, and student self-censorship is at an all-time high. As long as policies like these are used to target student speech, we will continue to see the complete inability for students to confront and engage with ideas that aren’t their own,” said Cherise Trump, executive director of Speech First, a nationwide membership organization that defends college students’ free speech rights on campus.

The lawsuit was filed in the Northern District of Alabama. A copy of the filing is available here.  



Independent Women’s Law Center advocates for equal opportunity, individual liberty, and the continued legal relevance of biological sex.


Independent Women’s Forum is dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities.


Parents Defending Education is a national grassroots organization working to reclaim our schools from activists imposing harmful agendas.


Speech First protects students’ free speech rights on college campuses through advocacy, litigation, and education.