In far-reaching executive order, Biden redefines ‘sex’

In one of his first acts in office, President Joe Biden has signed an executive order to interpret sex discrimination in federal law to include sexual orientation and gender identity. The move could impact high school sports, the privacy of single-sex bathrooms, faith-based organizations that are government grantees or contractors, and whether employees may face retaliation for voicing “discriminatory” religious beliefs.

“This executive order is a massive overreach,” John Bursch, senior counsel at the Alliance Defending Freedom legal group, told CNA Jan. 21. “It essentially has the effect of taking the word ‘sex’ and ‘sex discrimination’, anywhere those words appear in federal law, and converting them to include sexual orientation and gender identity.”

He warned that the executive order’s redefinition of sex will result in “a destructive effort to re-invent reality and destroy long-standing protections for women and girls,” even if this is not immediately evident.

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