President Joe Biden’s Department of Education plans to enact new rule changes to civil rights law this May that would end free speech as Americans have known it.
The changes would inject gender ideology straight into the heart of Title IX of the Civil Rights Act by erasing the Supreme Court’s long-standing distinction between protected speech and punishable conduct.
In its 1999 ruling in Davis v. Monroe County Board of Education, the Supreme Court held that expressive activity such as speech can only constitute harassment when it is “so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive” that it can no longer be considered pure speech and is more properly viewed as actionable conduct. In the process, the court emphasized that single instances of speech — no matter how offensive to the listener — do not rise to the level of harassment.
The Biden administration is purposefully muddying the waters between mere speech and harassing conduct specifically to force the use of pronouns and gender-affirming language. Under the proposed rule, students and faculty can violate Title IX simply for refusing to use someone else’s “preferred” pronouns.
Ideally, investigations involving Title IX are mindful of First Amendment protections and proceed according to the American standard of due process that a person is innocent until proven guilty. Title IX has typically been reserved for incidents of sexual assault or harassment. Under the Biden administration, however, students and faculty could be reported for mere speech. By coercing and compelling speech, this administration will set legal precedent ablaze and steamroll arguably our nation’s most foundational principle.
In the U.S., the First Amendment protects a very wide range of speech and, therefore, actions that demonstrate political messages. The highest court in the land has ruled that the Nazi Party of America’s march through Skokie, Illinois, and the burning of the American flag are protected forms of speech.
What’s really going on here? The administration, spurred on by power-hungry college administrators, seeks the destruction of freedom of speech by other means. It wishes for us to become Canada. In the Great White North, the alleged misuse of pronouns is not just illegal, it is a “human rights violation.”
Following a drawn-out court battle in the Canadian justice system, the court told a Canadian father that he had to stop referring to his own daughter as a girl because his daughter identified as a boy. The father rightfully refused to comply with the court order, and in May 2021, a warrant was issued for his arrest.
He had originally sought mental health help for his daughter, but by the time of the litigation, she had already been “transitioning” for two years. The father was jailed as a criminal.
In 2016, Canadian professor Jordan Peterson refused to use transgender pronouns and condemned Canada’s bill C-16, legislation that codified gender ideology into Canadian law. Now Peterson is facing the governing body of the College of Psychologists of Ontario, which is threatening to pull his psychology license if he doesn’t undergo social media “re-education.”
During the Canadian trucker strike of 2022, a Polish-Canadian pastor was jailed for 51 days for just speaking to the convoy.
Canada’s totalitarian actions even extend to political opponents. In 2021, Maxime Bernier, leader of the People’s Party of Canada, was arrested for attending an anti-lockdown event in protest of Canada’s authoritarian lockdowns. Bernier warned that Americans should not take their freedoms for granted.
The United States boasts a rich, intrepid history of protecting and enforcing both the natural and legal rights of its citizens. Despite that history of liberty, there’s a rapidly growing desire on the left to control myriad forms of speech, everywhere and at all times.
This trend is readily apparent across the country. From college campuses to corporate offices, and from social media platforms to bookstores, speech is increasingly under attack from leftist elites. And there’s still much more damage that can be done.
With Title IX enforcing gender ideology, what will happen to students who disagree with this dangerous dogma? What will happen to students who believe in basic biology, namely the notion that there are two sexes, that a man can’t become a woman, and vice versa? What will happen to students who have traditional values and remain true to their faith?
The answer is alarming. Under this butchered version of civil rights law, these students will be vulnerable to an array of punishments, including suspension and even expulsion. They will be treated as lawbreakers. And inevitably, they will be vilified in the left-dominated public square, crushing professional dreams and aspirations. Either comply or face the social guillotine.
Biden is confused about a lot of things. You would hope he would at least know the difference between Canada and the United States.