Senator Hughes, Concerned Officials Call on Education Secretary to Reject Changes to Title IX

Senate Majority Leader Shelley Hughes, concerned elected officials, and Alaskans have called for US Education Secretary Dr. Miguel Cardona to reject a proposed rule change to Title IX that alters the definition of sex to include gender identity and sexual orientation rather than a definition based on biological differences between males and females.

Since its passage in 1972, Title IX has protected biological females from unfair and unsafe conditions and provided equal access to sports and educational opportunities for girls and women. If implemented, the proposed rewrite will sacrifice the best interests of millions of women and girls across the country. The changes would rob them of equal access to sports teams, fair and safe competition, scholarships, and career opportunities as well safety and privacy in female spaces and facilities. Additionally, the proposed change would impede efforts by lawmakers in Alaska to protect our female students from the physical and psychological risks of opening up sports, bathrooms, and locker rooms to biological males.

Senator Shelley Hughes, (R-Palmer), said, “I’ve typically not used ‘war’ terminology when discussing policy issues, but I refuse to hold back this time. When the Biden administration is coming after our children and our youth, we cannot stand idly by. This is a battle, and we better stand up and fight for the rights and dignity of our girls and women or they will be faced with unfair and unsafe playing fields and forced to undress in front of biological males in locker rooms. I value every single person including those with differing beliefs, and at the same time, loving and common-sense parameters are essential. I’m sure if 100 parents, all with school-age daughters, were gathered in a room and asked if they would have a problem with a biological male taking a coveted spot on a team their daughter would otherwise get, or if they would have a problem with their daughter sharing the locker room shower with biological males, virtually every hand would go up.”

Hughes continued, "As Alaskans, we understand the importance of respecting and providing for all students, but we must do it without jeopardizing our girls and women. Title IX was created to ensure safe and fair competition opportunities for female students while protecting our femininity and privacy. The proposed rule change does not do that. If implemented, it will erode the very essence of Title IX, and girls and women will be the losers.”

The Senate Majority Leader is grateful Alaska sent a loud and clear message to Washington, D.C., to the US Department of Education, opposing the proposed rule, both through the joint submission she coordinated and through U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan’s letter. Hughes appreciates the fact that Senator Sullivan (R-Alaska), along with 10 other Republican senators also urged the withdrawal of the proposed Title IX rule. Hughes agrees with Sullivan that the Biden rule imposes a far-left gender ideology on schools that receive federal financial assistance and would have the opposite effect of Title IX’s intent by further eroding women’s equality, privacy and safety.

The Biden Administration proposed rewrite generated 235,816 public comment submissions, thousands of which were joint letters like Hughes’s submission and letters from organizations representing large groups, a clear indication that the topic is of great interest and concern to Americans. The Federal Register at accepts public testimony on federal policy. The deadline for submissions on this topic was September 12, 2022.

Hughes appreciates the many signers who stepped up in a short day and a half to take a stand for female students. She is aware that hundreds more Alaskans would have signed on had time allowed.

For more information, please contact Buddy Whitt in Senator Hughes’s office at 907-376-3725.