U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona backs transgender athletes’ rights

By: | June 8, 2021

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona told ESPN that transgender girls have a “right to compete” and suggested that the Biden administration will step in to protect those students’ civil rights, as multiple states enact legislation banning transgender athletes from competing in girls’ and women’s sports.

On June 1, the first day of Pride Month, Florida became the eighth state to ban transgender athletes from girls’ and women’s competitions. In a wide-ranging interview on issues related to sex discrimination and athletes, the new leader of America’s school systems addressed the bans and said it was “nonnegotiable that we’re going to protect the civil rights of all students,” setting up a possible showdown between federal civil rights enforcement and local control in education.

“I do believe in local control. I do believe in state control, but we do have a responsibility to protect the civil rights of students. And if we feel the civil rights are being violated, we will act,” Cardona said. “Our LGBTQ students have endured more harassment than most other groups. It’s critically important that we stand with them and give them opportunities to engage in what every other child can engage in without harassment.”

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