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Mississippi Judge Orders Nationwide Stay on Title IX RevisionsA Mississippi district judge has ruled that the federal government can’t enforce its reinterpretation of Title IX protections to include gender identity revisions.
U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola granted the preliminary injunction and a nationwide stay against Health and Human Services (HHS) revisions to Title IX after complaints alleging HHS seeks to replace health regulations with a “regime” committed “to gender ideology over medical reality.”
Judge Gurioloa wrote that HHS officials began expanding the definition of Title IX protections in 2016 to include “discrimination based on the basis of gender identity” to fit in with Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Title IX was initially established in 1972 to protect women from discrimination in public education.
Plaintiffs in up to 15 states, including Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, and Mississippi, filed the complaint in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Mississippi.
“The Complaint alleges that HHS’s May 2024 Rule would require Plaintiffs to ‘use taxpayer funds to pay for unproven and costly gender-transition interventions through Medicaid and state health plans—even for children who may suffer irreversible harms,’” Judge Gurioloa wrote.
Using these taxpayer funds for gender-affirming care would consume resources needed for more imminent medical issues from “the most vulnerable populations,” Judge Gurioloa wrote in the order.

Final Rule

In a May press release, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said the Final Rule’s intent is to “strengthen protections” and ensure “equal access to this nation’s health care system and its social service programs for people with disabilities and their families.”

“It is comprehensive in scope, advancing justice for people with disabilities and helping to ensure they are not discriminated against under any program or activity receiving funding from HHS just because they have a disability,” Mr. Becerra said.
HHS said its regulations were updated to prevent “dehumanizing beliefs” surrounding medical treatments and conditions such as gender dysphoria.
“The Department will approach gender dysphoria as it would any other disorder or condition,” HHS said in its Final Rule. “If a disorder or condition affects one or more body systems, it may be considered a physical or mental impairment.”

‘Incur Substantial Costs’

In 2022, HHS issued a warning that any attempt to prevent a child from getting medical treatment for gender dysphoria violates several federal civil rights laws, including Section 1557 of the ACA.

“Section 1557 protects the right of individuals to access the health programs and activities of recipients of federal financial assistance without facing discrimination on the basis of sex, which includes discrimination on the basis of gender identity,” HHS stated. “Categorically refusing to provide treatment to an individual based on their gender identity is prohibited discrimination.”
Judge Gurioloa said the plaintiffs have proven that they would “incur substantial costs” if they didn’t comply with the Final Rule by losing federal funding, which was the deciding factor in his order.
“As a result, the Court finds that Plaintiffs have established all four elements for imposing a preliminary injunction and stay,” he wrote.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC)—an LGBT advocacy organization—issued a press release criticizing the ruling.

“This ruling is not only morally wrong, it’s also bad policy,“ HRC Director Kelly Robinson said. “Everyone deserves access to the medical care they need to be healthy and thrive.”

“This isn’t over,” she added. “All LGBTQ+ people should receive the health care they deserve and be able to make informed decisions about our own bodies.”

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