South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem announced on June 2 that, to protect fairness in women’s sports, she intends to sue the Biden administration over an overhaul of the federal school lunch program to be more in line with Title IX.
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) under the Biden administration announced on May 5 that all state and local agencies that receive federal funding for meals, more specifically including schools, must not discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
In other words, schools that receive funding through the federal school lunch program could lose the funding if they discriminate against those identifying as a different gender or sexual orientation, such as not allowing biological males who identify as females to use women’s restrooms. The basis of the changes in the federal school lunch program originated from President Biden’s Executive Order combating discrimination of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Noem blasted the Biden administration’s threat of withholding funding from vulnerable student populations in a press release on June 2:
“President Biden is holding lunch money for poor Americans hostage in pursuit of his radical agenda. He is insisting that we allow biological males to compete in girls’ sports or else lose funding for SNAP and school lunch programs,” Noem said. “South Dakota will continue to defend basic fairness so that our girls can compete and achieve. I would remind President Biden that we have defeated him in litigation before and are ready to do so again. Mr. President, we’ll see you in court.”
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack defended the Biden administration’s position on gender identity, sexual orientation, and fairness in a written statement:
“USDA is committed to administering all its programs with equity and fairness and serving those in need with the highest dignity. A key step in advancing these principles is rooting out discrimination in any form–including discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
“At the same time, we must recognize the vulnerability of the LGBTQI+ communities and provide them with an avenue to grieve any discrimination they face. We hope that by standing firm against these inequities we will help bring about much-needed change.”