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Call to Action: Oppose the SAFER Act and Its Sweeping Redefinition of ‘Sex’ and ‘Sexual Harassment’

The Title IX network, which includes CHQ, is issuing a call to action to oppose the recently introduced "Students' Access to Freedom and Educational Rights (SAFER) Act" in both the

Senate and House (1). The bill proposes to codify sweeping changes to the definitions of “sex” and “sexual harassment.”

Definition of Sex

The existing Title IX law, enacted in 1972, was designed to eliminate discrimination based on a student’s “sex.” But the SAFER bill seeks to expand this fundamental term to include sex stereotypes, pregnancy or related conditions, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Gender identity is defined as “a person’s internal sense of gender, which could be female, male, or another gender.” (Section 101)

To date, two circuit courts have ruled against changing the Title IX definition of sex:

On July 15, 2022 a Tennessee District Court issued a Preliminary Injunction overturning the Department of Education’s Interpretation of Title IX to include “discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.” (2)

In a November 11, 2022 decision, a Texas District Court ruled in Neese v. Becerra that Title IX does not prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. (3)

Over 200 organizations have gone on record in opposition (4) to proposed changes to Title IX that would expand the definition of “sex,” which would impose devastating consequences on women’s sports (5), promote life-altering sex changes on underage children (6), and have long-term effects on parental rights (7).

Definition of Sexual Harassment

In Davis v. Monroe, the U.S. Supreme Court defined sexual harassment as harassment that is ‘‘so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it can be said to deprive the victims of access to the educational opportunities or benefits provided by the school.’’ (8)

But the SAFER bill proposes a broader definition of sexual harassment that would encompass virtually all sex-related conduct that is perceived as “unwelcome:”

“any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, regardless of whether it is direct or indirect, or verbal or nonverbal (including conduct that is undertaken in whole or in part, through the use of electronic messaging services, commercial mobile services, electronic communications, or other technology), that unreasonably alters an individual’s terms, benefits, or privileges of an education program or activity, including by creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.” (Section 203(i))

Such changes would exact harmful consequences on free speech (9) and open the door for a wave of false allegations of sexual misconduct and domestic violence (10). A former Washington State prosecutor explains the false allegations problem this way (11):


"The Department of Education has put immense pressure on higher education institutions to handle cases to their liking… As a result of this unfair treatment, innocent accused students, staff, and faculty find themselves expelled, fired or facing criminal charges."

In Orwellian fashion, the bill sponsors make the remarkable claim that the SAFER Act will protect “all” students from discrimination (12).

SAVE urges lawmakers to strongly oppose the SAFER Act. We urge CHQ readers to pick-up the phone to call their Representative and Senators (the Capitol Switchboard number is 202-224-3121) and join other conservatives who have committed to melt the phone lines to Capitol Hill with this simple message: Don’t redefine sex or sexual harassment – vote NO on the SAFER Act.

Links:

1. https://www.congress.gov/117/bills/hr9387/BILLS-117hr9387ih.pdf

2. https://adfmedialegalfiles.blob.core.windows.net/files/TennesseeOrderOpinionPI.pdf

3. https://casetext.com/case/neese-v-becerra-1

4. https://www.saveservices.org/2022-Policy/

5. https://www.iwf.org/womens-sports-resource-center/

6. https://nrb.org/articles/thousands-rally-at-tennessee-state-capitol-to-end-child-mutilation/

7. https://parentalrights.org/

8. https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/526/629/

9. https://speechfirst.org/about/

10. https://www.saveservices.org/2021/05/pr-40-50-of-campus-sexual-assault-allegations-are-unfounded-revealing-need-for-strong-protections-of-the-innocent/

11. https://kuhlmanoffice.com/practice-areas/title-ix-defense/

https://www.casey.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/one_pager_safer_act.pdf



  • Students' Access to Freedom and Educational Rights (SAFER) Act

  • definition of sex

  • definition of sexual harassment

  • Title IX

  • sexual orientation

  • gender identity

  • Department of Education

  • women's sports

  • children transtioning

  • Davis v. Monroe

  • false allegations

  • free speech

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