Gray Blasts Gordon For Wyoming Not Suing Over Biden’s Title IX Changes

Secretary of State Chuck Gray is blasting Gov. Mark Gordon for not joining 22 other states in suing the Biden administration for its new rules on Title IX, which include not allowing bans on biological males from participating in female sports.

Leo Wolfson

May 09, 20244 min read

Secretary of State Chuck Gray, left, and Gov. Mark Gordon.
Secretary of State Chuck Gray, left, and Gov. Mark Gordon. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

So far, 22 states have joined six lawsuits challenging the Biden administration’s new rules on Title IX which, among other things, would prevent bans on transgender women participating in female sports.

Wyoming so far has not joined any of these lawsuits.

Secretary of State Chuck Gray is upset that Gov. Mark Gordon hasn’t had Wyoming sign on to join one of these lawsuits. It’s the governor’s decision to decide what lawsuits he wants the state to engage in.

“It is absolutely absurd that Governor Gordon and his appointed attorney general are refusing to take action to stop Biden’s illegal, outrageous rules,” Gray said. “This is another example of how they will talk the talk with cheap press statements but refuse to actually walk the walk and take real action.”

Michael Pearlman, a spokesman for Gordon, said his office is still reviewing “litigation strategy and options on this issue.”

“The governor is committed to vigorously combating the federal government’s overreach into local matters, particularly in the realm of education,” Pearlman said.

It hasn’t been a month yet since the rules were finalized, and six more states joined a lawsuit on Tuesday.

6 More Are In

The U.S. Department of Education finalized the rules April 19, which go into effect in August. Proponents say the rules establish transgender rights, while opponents say they diminish protection for others.

“School policies related to gender identity are best decided by parents and local school boards,” Gordon said in an April statement.

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said the new rules “advance Title IX’s promise of ensuring that no person experiences sex discrimination, including sex-based harassment or sexual violence, in federally funded education.”

On Tuesday, the attorneys general of Arkansas and Missouri announced that they, along with Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota, are filing what is now the sixth lawsuit over the proposed rules. Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders has also signed an executive order objecting to the rules.

Oklahoma filed its own lawsuit Monday, and four other lawsuits were filed last week between 15 states, all of them Republican majority.

Colorado and Utah are the only two states bordering Wyoming to have not joined one of the lawsuits.

“Twenty two red states have filed lawsuits to stop Biden over the last two weeks, but somehow the governor can’t get the job done,” Gray said. “It shows how lost the Gordon administration is.”

Gordon and Gray have been at odds for nearly all of Gray’s time in office. Gordon has vetoed two sets of proposed rules from Gray’s office, asserting that both exceeded his constitutional and lawful authority. Gray has no say in what lawsuits the state can file.

What Do The Rules Do?

The new rules expand the interpretation of harassment and discrimination to include people based on sexual orientation or gender identity. They also include heightened requirements for responding to discrimination as well as sexual misconduct.

The Title IX rules make no direct changes related to transgender participation in athletics, but do affect it because of the bans on gender identity and sexual orientation discrimination.

In 2023, the Wyoming Legislature passed a law banning biological males from participating in girls’ public interscholastic sports in grades 7-12.

Gordon didn’t bring up this law in his April statement, but instead referred to two parental rights laws Wyoming passed this year. He said the federal government’s update to the federal Title IX rules clashes with both the concept of parental rights and of local, school-board driven control.

And Degenfelder …

Superintendent of Public Instruction Megan Degenfelder also condemned the rules in April, which she said amount to an “action to effectively repeal Title IX protections for women in America.”

She said the rules open the door to males abusing rights Title IX that have been historically afforded to females, and could remove parents from discussions around their children’s gender identity.

“Quite frighteningly, the rules have stripped the accused of proper due process protections and threaten First Amendment rights,” Degenfelder said.

When asked Tuesday about her thoughts on Wyoming not having joined any litigation on this, a spokesperson for Degenfelder declined to comment and referred back to her original April statement.

Gray said he finds Degenfelder’s silence on this matter also troubling.

“Where is the Superintendent of Public Instruction Megan Degenfelder here?” he questioned. “She should be calling for the governor and his appointed attorney general to take action, not just issue press releases.”

Leo Wolfson can be reached at

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Leo Wolfson

Politics and Government Reporter