Degenfelder Blasts Chuck Gray, Says Wyoming Will Sue Over Biden Title IX Rules

Superintendent of Public Instruction Megan Degenfelder confirmed to Cowboy State Daily that Wyoming will sue over the Biden administration's Title IX gender rules, and blasted Secretary of State Chuck Gray for "heckling from the sidelines."

Leo Wolfson

May 10, 20244 min read

Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Megan Degenfelder, left, and Secretary of State Chuck Gray.
Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Megan Degenfelder, left, and Secretary of State Chuck Gray. (Matt Idler for Cowboy State Daily)

Wyoming will join a IX lawsuit after all.

On Thursday night, Superintendent of Public Instruction Megan Degenfelder confirmed to Cowboy State Daily that Wyoming will join one of a host of lawsuits challenging President Joe Biden’s administration’s new rules on Title IX which, among other things, would prevent bans on transgender women participating in female sports.

On Wednesday, a spokesperson for Gov. Mark Gordon told Cowboy State Daily that Wyoming is still considering its litigation options and strategy for the lawsuit. Degenfelder said this is correct, and that she’s been working behind the scenes with Gordon and Attorney General Bridget Hill on the issue.

So far, 22 states have joined six lawsuits challenging the rules. She did not clarify which lawsuit Wyoming would join by the time of publication for this story.

‘Heckling From The Sidelines’

Degenfelder said no one is working harder to keep Title IX protections than herself. She played rugby at the University of Wyoming and is one of the head coaches of the same club rugby team.

“As a former University of Wyoming athlete and current women's coach at UW, I will fight these Title IX rule changes in every way possible because I will always protect our girls,” Degenfelder said.

She also responded to a comment Wyoming Secretary of State Chuck Gray made on Wednesday criticizing her for what he saw as a lack of response from Degenfelder on the matter.

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

Gray went even more directly after Gordon, accusing him of “refusing to take action to stop Biden’s illegal, outrageous rules” and making “cheap press statements.”

Degenfelder did not take kindly to these remarks.

“I would encourage Secretary Gray to join those of us actually making plays on the field rather than just heckling from the sidelines,” she said.

Degenfelder had already condemned the rules in April, which she said amounted to an “action to effectively repeal Title IX protections for women in America” and open the door to males abusing rights historically afforded to females.

More Heckling

Gray responded to Degenfelder’s comment Friday and said he’s on “Team Wyoming,” and “not their team of insiders who have been delaying action and doing the bare minimum.”

“They have been dithering and delaying and not getting the job done for the people of Wyoming, and that’s why I’m pointing out their lack of action,” he said.

Gray said this has been a common theme for Wyoming’s participation in lawsuits.

On Thursday, Gordon filed two lawsuits challenging controversial federal environmental rules that could negatively affect the Cowboy State’s coal- and natural gas-fired power plants.

Gray also indicated he has offered to help prepare for a potential lawsuit, an invitation that has so far not been accepted.

“This could get done very quickly with the right attitude,” he said.

What Do The Rules Do?

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.

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.

Leo Wolfson can be reached at

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Leo Wolfson

Politics and Government Reporter