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Biden’s Secretary of Education Warns of Possible Action against Schools that Refuse to Prioritize Transgender Athletes’ Rights

June 14, 2021

TUPELO, Miss. — In an ESPN interview that aired June 7, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona described the U.S. Department of Education’s (DOE) position on transgender athletes, presumably at the direction of the Biden Administration, or at least with their approval. The American Family Association(AFA,afa.net) stands with female athletes andstrongly opposes the DOE’s attempt to force a radical social and sexual agenda on the nation’s schools, students, and families.

Despite a recent Gallup poll which found that 62% of Americans support separating athletes according to their biological sex, Cardona has warned that his office may take action if states do not align with the official federal narrative.

Cardona first dismissed the physiological reality and undeniable argument that allowing transgender athletes to compete in certain competitions is unfair to biological female athletes. He stated, “I recognize there’s a lot of concern around…that issue. But what’s not tolerable is saying that some students cannot participate because of their gender.”

The threat to states and, by default, all sports organizations was clear, “We do have a responsibility to protect the civil rights of students,” Cardona warned, “and if we feel the civil rights are being violated, we will act.” It is also worth noting that Cardona feels it is a “civil right” for boys to compete against girls in athletic competitions designated for females.

Ed Vitagliano, Executive Vice President of AFA, points out the fundamental disregard for the obvious in the Secretary’s statement, “Secretary Cardona’s comments clearly illustrate the stunning blindness of the transgender radicals. When he argues that it’s wrong to say ‘that some students cannot participate [in sports] because of their gender,’ he ignores the fact that schools have been doing that for decades. Boys aren’t allowed to play girls’ sports––because of their gender! What parents are demanding and states are doing through their legislatures is stating that boys are boys regardless of what they call themselves. In other words, actual gender is what matters.”

In Cardona’s confirmation hearings for the U.S. Secretary of Education position, he told U.S. senators, “it’s the legal responsibility of schools to provide opportunities for students to participate in activities, and this includes students who are transgender.”

Cardona stressed that he supports “local control” in education but suggested that his office would be open to taking action against states that pass laws requiring athletes to compete on sports teams that correspond with their biological sex instead of their chosen gender identity. What action they might take and how enforceable it would be is undefined. To date, over 25 states have passed laws or taken other action that would ban biological males from competing in women’s athletics.

Vitagliano concluded, “Cardona’s threat of federal action on this is further evidence that our nation has drifted far, far away from the principles of our founding. That the Secretary thinks the federal government should be able to dictate to states on policies such as this shows just how totalitarian the Left has become.”

For over 40 years, AFA has operated within the mission to inform, equip and activate individuals to strengthen the moral foundations of American culture and give aid to the church here and abroad in its task of fulfilling the Great Commission. Find AFA Action Alerts here.     

AFA—founded in 1977—has long been on the front lines of America’s culture war. Today, AFA is one of the largest and most effective pro-family organizations in the country, with nearly a million online supporters and approximately 160,000 subscribers to the AFA Journal, the ministry’s monthly magazine. In addition, AFA owns and operates nearly 180 radio stations across the country under the American Family Radio banner.


View the media page for AFA here. For more information on American Family Association, visitwww.afa.net or follow AFA on Facebook or Twitter @AmericanFamAssc.     


To interview American Family Association Executive Vice President Ed Vitagliano, or another spokesperson, contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, Beth Harrison, 610.584.1096, ext. 105, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.