Press Release

PRESS RELEASE: DFI Supports State of Idaho in its Fight to Protect Public Schools’ Legal Right to Maintain Sex Segregated Locker Rooms, Bathrooms

The Defense of Freedom Institute for Policy Studies (DFI) filed an amicus brief today in Roe v. Critchfield, arguing that an Idaho state law requiring public schools to maintain bathrooms and other intimate facilities for students based on biological sex does not violate Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

In the case before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, students whose gender identity does not align with their biological sex have sued to stop enforcement of Idaho Senate Bill 1100 (S.B. 1100), which requires public schools to assign students to bathrooms, locker rooms, and  sleeping quarters for activities involving overnight lodging based on the biological sex of each student.  

The students argue the law, enacted in March, is unconstitutional and violates Title IX.  

In an amicus brief filed today, DFI argues that S.B. 1100 does not violate Title IX because the text, meaning, structure, purpose, and legislative history of the statute demonstrate that the word “sex” in the statute refers to a binary distinction between biological males and females.  In fact, Title IX contains a provision that expressly allows for “separate living facilities” based on biological sex.  

“Interpreting Title IX’s many uses of the term ‘sex’ to encompass the concept of ‘gender identity’ would not only contravene the plain meaning of the statute but would also conflict with the very purpose of the law when passed by Congress in 1972: to ensure equal opportunities in education for girls and women,” states the brief.  “The proper place to address normative questions about the extent to which federal law should prohibit discrimination on the basis of ‘gender identity’ is not the courts, but Congress, which has the constitutional power to legislate for the federal government, has the ability to consider fully the different nuances and consequences involved in policymaking, and is accountable to the public through elections.”

To read the full brief, click here.

DFI’s Senior Litigation Counsel, Donald A. Daugherty, Jr., said, “As the district court below found, Idaho was well within its authority to require its public schools to designate bathrooms based on biological sex, and it did not violate Title IX by doing so. The Ninth Circuit should affirm that decision.”

DFI filed a brief with the Supreme Court in November in a similar case, Metropolitan School District of Martinsville v. A.C., arguing the Court should rule on the meaning of “sex” in Title IX and resolve the conflict that exists amongst the circuit courts of appeals on this issue.

To learn more about DFI’s work to protect Title IX, click here.