AUSTIN, Texas — Gov. Greg Abbott has doubled down on his promise in late April that the state will ignore the Biden administration's update to Title IX.

On Wednesday, he reported he sent a letter directing public university systems and community colleges not to comply and to not implement any new system-wide policy related to Title IX revisions. He already gave the Texas Education Agency the directive. 

What You Need To Know

  • Gov. Greg Abbott has instructed public universities and community colleges to ignore the Biden administration’s update to the gender equity law known as Title IX

  • Among other things, the update includes protections for transgender students. The update is set to take effect in early August 

  • Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued to stop the expansion of Title IX

  • Abbott also ordered Texas schools to refrain from implementing any new system-wide policy related to Title IX revisions

Title IX, a gender equity law, dates to 1972 and was originally passed to address women’s rights.

Last month, the Biden administration detailed changes to Title IX that add protections for transgender, LGBTQ+ and pregnant students to the federal civil rights law on sex-based discrimination. Those changes will take effect in August.

Also set to change is a Trump-era guidance on how schools should handle cases of sexual assault.

Specifically, according to a Department of Education fact sheet, the update prohibits discrimination “based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex characteristics in federally funded education programs.” 

“As I have already made clear, Texas will not comply with President Joe Biden’s rewrite of Title IX that contradicts the original purpose and spirit of the law to support the advancement of women,” Abbott wrote in the letter. “Last week, I instructed the Texas Education Agency to ignore President Biden’s illegal dictate of Title IX. Today, I am instructing every public college and university in the State of Texas to do the same.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued Biden to stop the expansion of Title IX. Paxton, in a news release announcing the lawsuit, characterized the changes as an attack on women.

“Texas will not allow Joe Biden to rewrite Title IX at whim, destroying legal protections for women in furtherance of his radical obsession with gender ideology,” Paxton said. “This attempt to subvert federal law is plainly illegal, undemocratic, and divorced from reality. Texas will always take the lead to oppose Biden’s extremist, destructive policies that put women at risk.”

At least 11 states have adopted laws barring transgender girls and women from using girls’ and women’s bathrooms at public schools.

The new regulation opposes those sweeping policies.

It states that sex separation at schools isn’t always unlawful. However, the separation becomes a violation of Title IX’s nondiscrimination rule when it causes more than a very minor harm on a protected individual, “such as when it denies a transgender student access to a sex-separate facility or activity consistent with that student’s gender identity.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.