GOP-led states sue Biden’s USDA over threat to withhold school lunch funding over gender identity policies

The Department of Agriculture, based on an executive order from President Joe Biden, reinterpreted certain statutes on sex discrimination to include gender identity and sexual orientation, which had the effect of forcing schools to adopt pro-transgender policies in order to remain eligible for federal funds for school lunch programs.

The attorneys general of nearly two dozen Republican-led states, including Virginia, filed a lawsuit against that policy, and Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares has now accused the Biden administration of attempting to “use children” to push a “far-left political ideology,” the Washington Examiner reported.

That lawsuit argues that if the policy is allowed to stand, it would allow the USDA to withhold federal funding for the National School Lunch Program from school districts that don’t allow biological male students to use female restrooms or compete against biological females in athletics and sports events.

The lawsuit was filed over the USDA gender identity policy change

The USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service announced in May that it had reinterpreted the sex discrimination provisions in Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 to include a prohibition against discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.

“As a result, state and local agencies, program operators and sponsors that receive funds from FNS must investigate allegations of discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation,” the USDA said. “Those organizations must also update their non-discrimination policies and signage to include prohibitions against discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.”

The Federalist reported Wednesday that 22 states have now sued the USDA over this new policy due to the fact that it clearly “jeopardized” states’ access to funding for school lunch programs as well as the fact that the “rule” had not been promulgated under the required proper procedures.

The states argued that the new policy would, in effect, force school districts to allow biological males to use female restrooms and play female sports or else be cut off from the necessary funding to provide students with lunch and/or breakfast, which for some low-income students are the only guaranteed meals of the day.

“We all know the Biden administration is dead-set on imposing an extreme left-wing agenda on Americans nationwide,” Indiana Attorney General Rokita (R), a co-leader of the lawsuit, said in a statement. “But they’ve reached a new level of shamelessness with this ploy of holding up food assistance for low-income kids unless schools do the Left’s bidding.”

Using children as pawns to push progressive ideologies

Virginia AG Miyares, in an interview with the Washington Examiner at the Young America’s Foundation’s National Conservative Student Conference in Washington D.C., explained why he had joined the other states in the lawsuit against President Biden’s USDA.

“They’re essentially saying, ‘We are requiring you to have biological males in women’s sports, we are requiring you to allow biological males to use women’s bathrooms, female bathrooms, and if you don’t, we’re going to withhold nutrition assistance for needy children,'” Miyares said.

“To use children to try to push … this far-left political ideology is Exhibit A of federal overreach,” he continued.

“We’ve had over 122 million lunches that have been given to Virginia schoolchildren, and the idea that the Biden administration would use nutrition assistance for needy kids to score a political point, we couldn’t abide by that,” Miyares added. “We’re gonna stand with parents, we’re gonna stand with local school districts.”

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