Title IX makes it unlawful for educational institutions receiving federal funding to discriminate “on the basis of sex.” But in the context of high school and college athletics, and specific to transgender athletes, what should the meaning of “sex” be? The Obama administration believed that “on the basis of sex” in Title IX includes “gender” in the meaning of “sex.” However, the Trump administration has proposed revoking that understanding, limiting the term “sex” to mean male or female, defined at birth. In the com- ing year, the Supreme Court may decide in R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc. v. EEOC whether sex discrimination laws apply to discrimination against transgender people. Its ruling will be instrumental as precedent for lower courts in deciding Title IX cases.
This Note analyzes what the Supreme Court should consider in making its final judgment. This Note argues that the current interpretation of “sex” under Title IX should be maintained as defined by the Obama administration to mean that transgender high school and college athletes must be allowed to participate on the sports team that corresponds with their gender identity. This conclusion is supported by case law, as well as a close textual reading of Title IX, namely its use of the word “sex,” a term that can be interpreted broadly.
Sex is Not a Three-Letter Word: The Effect of Manipulating the Definition of "Sex" on the Future of Transgender Athletes,
40 Loy. L.A. Ent. L. Rev. 161
Available at: https://digitalcommons.lmu.edu/elr/vol40/iss2/1