Executive Order Says Schools to Include Transgender Athletes in Girls’ Sports

January 22, 2021 / Athletic AdministrationCoaching
On his first day in the Oval Office, President Joe Biden signed an executive order that is calling on schools across the country to allow transgender student-athletes to participate in the sport of their gender identity.

The order, aimed at “preventing and combating discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation,” is a sign to some that the Justice Department is going to enforce it via Title IX — and schools that don’t comply could risk losing funding, according to a report from Fox News.

Photo: Wesley Sykes / Great American Media Services

“Children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports,” reads the new order, released on the first day of his presidency.

Transgender student-athletes in schools was a hot topic of debate last year when 17 states introduced bills to restrict athletes’ participation in sports of their gender assigned at birth. Only one became law — in Idaho. The Trump administration supported the ban, Fox News reported, but a federal judge temporarily blocked its implementation after a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

The Trump administration also intervened in Connecticut, when the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) found a law allowing transgender high school girls to compete on girls’ sports teams violated the Title IX right of girls assigned female at birth, according to an article on Fox News. The DOE threatened the Connecticut schools with pulling funding or facing action from the DOJ, but neither happened. The administration had jumped in to support a case of several cisgender girls seeking to block the state policy. The plaintiffs argued transgender female runners had an unfair physical advantage.

Currently, 14 states and the District of Columbia have policies similar to Connecticut’s, according to Transathlete.com. Fourteen others allow transgender participation with certain conditions, such as hormone treatments or other proof the athlete is transitioning, according to the organization.

To read the full report from Fox News on President Biden’s new executive order, click here