Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Under Obama Illogic, Women’s Sports Teams Violate Title IX

The Obama administration misreads Title IX to require that a school receiving federal funds “treat transgender students consistent with their gender identity” for single-sex “restrooms, locker rooms, shower facilities, housing, [and] athletic teams.” (Emphasis added.) Its illogic would in fact mean an end to any girls’ and women’s sports teams in schools and colleges—yes, an end even to the transgender-modified system of such sports teams that it is pushing for.

Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, what is clearly the not case: that it is unlawful discrimination on the basis of gender identity to reserve, say, membership on a girls’ soccer team to biological females. If boys who think they’re girls must be eligible for membership on that team, then it would clearly be discrimination on the basis of gender identity to bar boys who know they’re boys from being on the team. After all, the only distinction between the two sets of boys is gender identity. How could one set of boys be allowed to compete for the girls’ team and the other set be barred from doing so if Title IX forbids discrimination on the basis of gender identity?

So one ironic result of the Obama administration’s ill-conceived and lawless transgender campaign under Title IX would be to put an end to women’s sports.

I wonder if the elite progressive parents who won’t object to having boys shower with their daughters won’t countenance the prospect that their daughters will lose their opportunities for college sports scholarships.

(The attentive reader might recall note that I’ve made a similar argument about how the Obama administration’s position would mean an end to any system of single-sex bathrooms and showers. The same argument applies equally to single-sex housing.)

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