COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has joined 19 other Republican AGs in a lawsuit challenging the Biden administration’s determination that Title IX protects students from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Yost has put the state in the thick of the fight over what rights people in the LGBTQ+ community should or should not have. Yost’s stance can be seen to contradict Gov. Mike DeWine’s 2019 executive order barring discrimination by state agencies based on sexual orientation, but Yost said the fight is not over gender rights, it’s about government overreach.
“Attorney General Dave Yost should be applauded for being willing to stand up both for the rule of law but also for the privacy and safety of young women and girls,” said Aaron Baer, President of the Center for Christian Virtue.
Others feel attention could be better used elsewhere.
“It’s such a shame that when Ohio has so much going on, we’re dealing with a pandemic, we’re trying to get our economy back and rolling, that this is what our attorney general is deciding to put his time and attention and resources into,” said Maria Bruno, Public Policy Director of Equality Ohio.
Yost has signed onto a federal lawsuit saying the U.S. Department of Education went “far beyond” its power when suggesting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity violates Title IX. Title IX bans sex-based discrimination in schools that gets money from the federal government.
”Rule by administrative overreach may seem convenient, but tossing the process our Constitution requires will inevitably trample the liberties of our most vulnerable,” Yost said in a statement.
In June, the Department of Education said it could investigate a school that stops students from playing sports or using the bathrooms of their gender identity as well as if their classmates do not use their preferred pronouns.
Yost and other AGs are also going after a federal decision banning employers from discriminating against LGBTQ+ people under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Federal agencies pointed to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last year in a case, banning employers from firing employees because of how they identify or their sexuality.
“The bottom line on this is there’s an objective reality of what is a male and what is a female and really what you see happening with the Biden administration is they’re throwing out the science and going along with a radical ideology that puts the privacy of safety of young women at risk,” Baer said. “And when we see these policies go into place, it’s really girls who suffer the most.”
Gay and transgender rights groups, like Stonewall Columbus and Equality Ohio, disagree.
“Whenever you’re weaponizing children and making the discussion around which children should be excluded from key activities in their growth as a human, it’s a shame that they have been dragged into what seems to be much more of a political culture war than anything based in the law,” Bruno said.
“It just reminds me that the fight for LGBTQ is not over and inclusion is far from over and a battle that we may be fighting for many more years to come,” said Densil Porteous, Executive Director of Stonewall Columbus.