Why Catholics should resist the new Title IX regulations

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Catholic School
Students at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic School in Henderson, Ky., eat lunch. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)

The Biden administration’s changes to Title IX regulations are a profound shift in educational policy that could have far-reaching implications for Catholic parents and students across the United States. The new regulations, scheduled to take effect this August, are a radical redefinition of foundational concepts in line with gender ideology, which raises significant concerns from both legal and moral perspectives. The new regulations further transform Title IX into a weapon for advancing dangerous ideological dogmas.

Title IX was established in 1972 to prevent sex-based discrimination and ensure equal opportunity in educational environments. The Department of Education states on its website that the Biden administration’s changes “promote educational equity and opportunity for students across the country by strengthening and clarifying protections that address all forms of sex discrimination.” However, the new regulations are far more sweeping than this presentation suggests.

Understanding the regulatory changes

The updated Title IX regulation expands the definition of “sex” to encompass “gender identity” and “sexual orientation.” These regulations go beyond creating environments that avoid unjust discrimination for those who identify as transgender; they compel all students and institutions to conform to a flawed ideology of gender without regard for any implications concerning privacy, safety and fairness. These expansions of Title IX are not mere accommodations.

The new regulations are mandates that require that individuals who identify as a sex different from their biological sex be allowed to participate in sports, access facilities and join programs traditionally reserved for that sex. This includes allowing males who identify as female to compete in women’s sports, use women’s locker rooms and reside in women’s dormitories.


“The proposed Title IX regulations are an assault on the rights and freedoms of many students and families. They are an authoritarian overreach, shamelessly stretching legal and constitutional boundaries.”

Under the new provisions, educational institutions are being coerced into policing language to adhere strictly to gender ideologies. Any deviation or challenge to these norms could potentially be met with extreme punitive measures. This not only stifles open debate but encroaches on the academic freedom and expression that are hallmarks of American education. In fact, by expanding regulations to include protections of a person’s stated gender identity, institutions and individuals that do not employ preferred pronouns could be subject to penalties.

What the Catholic faith asks of us

Americans are protected under the First Amendment, which guarantees not only the right to free speech but also the right to freely practice one’s religion, which may influence personal views on sex and gender. In educational settings, both students and faculty should be free to express themselves — or choose not to — based on their own beliefs. Regardless of assertions by officials in the Biden administration, Title IX does not have the authority to alter these constitutional rights.

It is not discriminatory to question gender ideology. In fact, our Catholic faith compels us to speak out against it. In a recent magisterial document, Dignitas Infinita (“Infinite Dignity”), Pope Francis teaches, “Desiring a personal self-determination, as gender theory prescribes, apart from this fundamental truth that human life is a gift, amounts to a concession to the age-old temptation to make oneself God, entering into competition with the true God of love revealed to us in the Gospel.” Gender ideology proposes a fundamentally different vision of the human person, one that directly opposes the natural truths that Catholics must uphold.

The proposed Title IX regulations are an assault on the rights and freedoms of many students and families. They are an authoritarian overreach, shamelessly stretching legal and constitutional boundaries. As Catholics, we must resist these regulations, upholding instead our doctrinal commitments to the truth about human anthropology, the fundamental dignity of every human person and the complementary nature of male and female as a gift from God. It is essential to engage in this dialogue with compassion, recognizing the dignity of all, but with unyielding commitment to the Catholic Faith. 

Our Sunday Visitor Editorial Board

The Our Sunday Visitor Editorial Board consists of Father Patrick Briscoe, OP, Gretchen R. Crowe, Matthew Kirby, Scott P. Richert and York Young.