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Biden dismantles Trump-era Title IX rules, sidesteps issue of trans athletes in girls' sports

The Biden administration has unveiled new rules to safeguard LGBTQ+ students and change the ways in which sexual harassment and assault claims are adjudicated on campus.

The new provisions are part of a revised Title IX regulation issued by the Education Department, fulfilling a campaign pledge by President Biden to revamp those issued during the Trump administration.

Missing from the new rule, however, is a policy forbidding schools from enacting outright bans on transgender athletes competing against biological females. 

The Biden administration was widely expected to bring in such a policy but has instead put the provision on hold. The delay is widely seen as a political maneuver during an election year in which Republicans have rallied around bans on transgender athletes in girls' sports.

Under the new rules, sex discrimination includes discrimination based on gender identity as well as sexual orientation.

Biden is also officially undoing sexual assault rules put in place by his predecessor and current election-year opponent, former President Donald Trump. 

The final policy drew praise from victims' advocates, while Republicans said it erodes the rights of accused students.

The new rule makes "crystal clear that everyone can access schools that are safe, welcoming and that respect their rights," Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said.

"No one should face bullying or discrimination just because of who they are, who they love," Cardona told reporters. "Sadly, this happens all too often."

Biden's regulation is meant to clarify schools’ obligations under Title IX, the 1972 women’s rights law that outlaws discrimination based on sex in education. It applies to colleges and elementary and high schools that receive federal money. The update is to take effect in August.

"The president and his administration can't act like they care about women or our opportunities and then go and wipe out women’s protections under the country’s landmark sex equality law," said Riley Gaines, host of the "Gaines for Girls" podcast on "Title IX was passed over fifty years ago to end unjust discrimination in education, including athletics. I experienced this law undermined when female athletes like myself were told to keep quiet when a male swimmer took home a title in the women’s division and deprived female athletes of awards, honors, and the opportunity to compete."

"With its new Title IX rewrite, the Biden administration is unilaterally erasing fifty years of equal opportunity law for women," Gaines said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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