Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

UT professors join lawsuit against Biden administration

Lorianne Willett
The UT Tower on May 10, 2024.

Two UT professors joined Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s lawsuit against President Joe Biden and his administration last month over the expansion of Title IX protections. 

The education department expanded the definition of sexual harassment and discrimination to include added protections for LGBTQ+ students and pregnancy-related conditions. Title IX was adopted in 1972 with the goal of prohibiting sex discrimination in any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.

“The (expansions protect) against discrimination based on sex stereotypes, sexual orientation, gender identity and sex characteristics,” the Department of Education said in a press release April 19. 

After the announcement, Paxton filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration on April 29.

“Biden cannot violate the Constitution to subvert Title IX protections for women in his effort to accommodate the fringe demands of ‘transgender’ movement activists,” Paxton said in a press release. 

Philosophy professor Daniel Bonevac and John Hatfield, professor of finance, business and economics, joined the lawsuit on May 13, stating they would not comply with the new regulations.

“I have no intention of complying with the Biden Administration’s recently announced Title IX edict,” Bonevac and Hatfield said in their declarations to the court. “(Title IX revisions) have nothing to do with “sex” discrimination and represents nothing more than an attempt to force every educator in the United States to conform to a highly contentious interpretation of gender ideology and abortion rights.”

Both professors stated in the filing they will not comply with revisions that require they excuse absences for students to receive abortions and hire teaching assistants who have “violated the abortion laws of Texas or the federal law prohibitions on the shipments or receipt of abortion pills and abortion-related paraphernalia.” 

The professors also said they will not address students by the singular pronoun ‘they’ and will not allow their teaching assistants to “engage in cross-dressing while teaching … classes or interacting with … students.” 

The revisions are set to go into effect on Aug. 1. However, there are currently 26 pending lawsuits from states against the revisions. 

The University declined to comment on the situation.

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About the Contributor
Lorianne Willett, Photo Editor
Lorianne is a Journalism and Global Sustainability junior from San Antonio, Texas. Currently, she is the Photo Editor. In her free time, she enjoys reading and playing tennis.