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Education Dept. Updates Transgender Protections, Adding Possible Hurdle For Kentucky Bill

AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

A pre-filed bill limiting transgender girls' and women's participation in school sports in Kentucky could run afoul of Title IX, according to the latest statement by the U.S. Department of Education. 

Kentucky is one of dozens of states weighing legislation that would impact transgender students, specifically in the area of sports. Republican Rep. Ryan Dotson’s “Save Women’s Sports Act” would link eligibility to the “biological sex” of participants.

Under current state rules, transgender students can play on teams that conform to their gender identity if they’ve undergone gender reassignment surgery.

But in its latest notice on the issue, the U.S. Education Department says it considers discrimination against transgender students a violation of Title IX and it will investigate complaints. The move reverses guidance from the department under the former administration, which allowed for restrictions based on biological sex in educational activities.

The change could set the stage for a conflict between Kentucky and the federal government over the issue, if state lawmakers pass the reforms. Similar measures filed in the previous session did not gain traction in the General Assembly.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
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