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After the Biden administration extended Title IX to LGBTQ students, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the federal government. Austin Price/The Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott recently ordered the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to ignore a Biden administration rule that expanded federal sex discrimination protections to include LGBTQ+ students.

The Biden administration recently revised the rules for Title IX, the sweeping civil rights law that prohibits sex-based discrimination at federally funded colleges and K-12 schools. The new rules, which are set to go into effect in August, redefined sex discrimination and sex-based harassment to prevent misconduct based on sex stereotypes, pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation. It codifies initial guidance documents that prompted Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to sue the Biden administration last year.

On X, Abbott wrote, “Congress wrote Title IX to protect women. Biden, with no authority to do so, rewrote Title IX to protect men who identify as women.”

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Abbott’s order came the same day Paxton announced he had sued the Biden administration to block the Title IX changes. Texas joins a growing number of Republican-led states that have berated the new rules, setting the stage for a legal fight over LGBTQ student protections. The GOP says the Biden administration misinterpreted the intent of Title IX.

In its final interpretation of the law, the Biden administration sought to extend a 2020 U.S. Supreme Court case decision related to workplace discrimination to students. The high court ruled in Bostock v. Clayton County that Title VII also applied to gay and transgender workers.

The Title IX changes also walk back rules set during the administration of former president Donald Trump that required “live hearings” in which students accused of sexual misconduct could question accusers in a courtroom-like setting. The Biden administration kept Trump-era provisions that allow informal resolutions and prohibit penalties against students until an investigation is complete.

A version of this story originally appeared in The Texas Tribune.

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