Moms for Liberty Sues to Stop Protections for Trans Kids

Moms for Liberty is suing the U.S. Department of Education over the Biden Administration’s new Title IX regulations that protect transgender students—and they’ve listed a series of scenarios where they claim the rule would “irreparably harm” their members’ children and violate their Christian beliefs.

Among their listed anxieties: A high-school athlete in Pennsylvania would be banned from sharing her views on a local transgender coach using girls’ locker rooms, and a Kansas college activist couldn’t host an anti-trans talk by right-wing provocateur Matt Walsh or write sidewalk chalk messages like “Men are not women.”

The national extremist group joins about two-dozen Republican-led states waging legal battles to stop the new LGBTQ protections to the landmark education law from going into effect, arguing safety, privacy, freedom of speech and religious liberty are at stake.

Co-plaintiffs in Moms for Liberty’s complaint, which was filed Tuesday in Kansas federal court, include the states of Kansas, Alaska, Utah, and Wyoming, as well as Young America’s Foundation, a nonprofit for young conservatives, and a lesser-known group called Female Athletes United. An Oklahoma middle-schooler, identified only as “K.R.,” also tacked their name onto the lawsuit.

“Members of Moms for Liberty have deeply held beliefs on issues involving biological sex, gender identity, sex stereotypes, and sex characteristics,” the suit states. “Included in these beliefs is that an individual’s sex is determined at birth and that individuals should use restrooms and locker rooms matching their biological sex.”

If Biden’s Title IX rules officially begin as planned on Aug. 1, the complaint adds, “the speech of their members and of their members’ children will be chilled and they will be compelled to affirm beliefs and views on sex, sex stereotypes, and gender identity that contradict their beliefs and values.”

The 1972 civil rights law prohibits sex-based discrimination at schools and universities that receive federal funding. Last month, the Biden Administration announced it was expanding Title IX regulations to ban discrimination based on gender identity, sexual orientation, sex stereotypes, and pregnancy or related conditions.

Advocates for LGBTQ+ people hailed the newest protections but called for them to go even further; the Biden rules stopped short of prohibiting schools from enacting bans on transgender athletes participating in sports.

Kelley Robinson, president of civil rights organization Human Rights Campaign, called the regulations “life-changing” and said they’d “help ensure LGBTQ+ students can receive the same educational experience as their peers: going to dances, safely using the restroom, and writing stories that tell the truth about their own lives.”

“School administrators should take note and immediately act to implement anti-bias and anti-bullying and harassment programs that ensure misgendering stops, that cruelty against LGBTQ+ students ends and that every student has access to an education free of discrimination.”

Biden’s protections for transgender people scandalized conservatives, including red state governors like Florida’s Ron DeSantis, who said his state “will not comply” with the rules. South Dakota Governor and professed dog-killer Kristi Noem also vowed, “We will not accept the Biden Administration’s infringement on the rights of women.”

Last week, Former President Trump vowed to reverse the updated regulations “on Day One” if he’s elected to a second term in November. “Tell your people not to worry about it,” Trump told a conservative talk radio show. “It’ll be signed on day one. It’ll be terminated.”

Moms for Liberty’s suit also underscores the billions in federal funding states could lose if they disobey the law. Kansas, for example, was projected to receive around $1.6 billion from the feds in 2023, according to the complaint. (The “parental rights” group, however, has previously shared tweets calling for the abolition of the Department of Education and hosted summit speakers like Betsy DeVos who’ve said the same.)

People protest the Moms for Liberty Joyful Warriors national summit outside the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown.

People protest the Moms for Liberty Joyful Warriors national summit outside the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown.

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

In the lawsuit, the states argue they’re suing “to defend their interest in the continued receipt of federal education funds based on a reliance on biological reality” and the original intent of Title IX, which was to protect women in educational programs and activities.

Meanwhile, four Moms for Liberty members (who are not plaintiffs) highlight their concerns in the complaint—including Rebekah Koznek, a chapter leader in California who fears one of her children, who has autism, would face discipline for failing to modify her pronouns.

Koznek notes that a transgender student at her children’s school used the girls’ locker room last year and “‘twerked’ in the faces of female students and engaged in other attention seeking behaviors that made female students uncomfortable in the locker room.”

“Ms. Koznek and her children believe God created men and women,” the suit says, “and that individuals cannot change their biological sex.”

K.R., the 13-year-old plaintiff from Oklahoma, says she felt “intensely uncomfortable, embarrassed, and unsafe using the restroom at school” because she shared it with transgender classmates. She stopped using the facilities altogether, the suit adds, until the governor enacted a law ordering students to use restrooms that correspond with the gender on their birth certificate.

The lawsuit notes that K.R. is a “Christian” who “believes that all people should be treated with dignity and respect, that God created every person male or female, and that people should accept their God-given sex and not seek to reject or change it.”

Right-wing panic over the Title IX changes isn’t limited to the courtroom, either.

As The Daily Beast previously reported, Moms for Liberty co-founder and Sarasota school board member Bridget Ziegler introduced a resolution stating the local panel wouldn’t comply with Biden’s regulations.

Dozens of community members showed up to oppose her resolution, pleading for the board to vote against it during a three-hour public comment period.

“I’m begging you as a mother who wants the best for my child and all children to stop making trans students the center of your conversation,” one mom told Ziegler, who is known for championing Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law and other anti-LGBTQ rhetoric despite recently being caught in three-way sex scandal that revealed her own bisexual activities.

Ziegler’s resolution passed anyway.

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