Utah has joined three other GOP-led states and four private entities in a lawsuit that challenges the U.S. Department of Education’s new Title IX rules.

The new rules, slated to take effect on Aug. 1, reverse sexual assault rule changes put in place during the Trump administration and add protections for LGBTQ students.

Title IX protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance.

The other plaintiffs include the states of Kansas, Wyoming and Alaska, along with a parent, Shawna Rowland, who filed on behalf of her daughter, K.R.; and three private organizations, Moms for Liberty, Female Athletes United and Young America’s Foundation.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Topeka, seeks a declaratory judgment holding that the final rule is unlawful and that plaintiff states are not bound by it.

Moreover, it seeks declaratory judgement that Title IX does not prohibit plaintiff states “from maintaining showers, locker rooms, restrooms, residential facilities and other living facilities separated by biological sex or from regulating each individual’s access to those facilities based on such individual’s biological sex.”

Earlier this year, the Utah Legislature passed HB257, which includes provisions to restrict transgender access to “privacy spaces” in public schools and other publicly-owned buildings.

It also seeks declarative judgement that does not require “Title IX recipient’s employees or students to use an individual’s preferred pronouns or honorifics,” the lawsuit states.

Utah House Speaker Mike Schultz, R-Hooper, in a tweet in support of the lawsuit, commented, “Utah has and will continue to stand up for our girls and women.”

In a video, Schultz said Title IX was implemented to protect girls and women across the United States and the Biden administration and Democrats are “actively trying to destroy those protections.”

He continued, “Most Utahns do not want men to be able to enter whatever locker room or bathroom they feel like and they don’t want men competing in girls sports. It’s simply not OK. So let me be clear, Utah has and will continue to stand up for what’s right. We’ve passed monumental legislation to protect high school female athletes and ensure they’re given an even playing field. We’ve made it clear that privacy is non negotiable, that males must use men’s spaces, and females must use women’s spaces. We will continue pursuing whatever legal action is necessary and putting policies in place to protect our girls and our women because standing up for our girls is the right thing for Utah.”

According to a Department of Education press release published April 19, the rulemaking process related to athletics is ongoing.

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, in a tweet, also opined about the new rules: “Holding a sword over school districts, without Supreme Court or other legal precedent and in the absence of congressional authority, the current administration once again bypasses America’s democratic process and threatens to defund schools that do not bend to its dictates.”

According to the lawsuit, the new regulations run contrary to Title IX’s text and history.

“They prohibit schools from maintaining sex-separate programs for males and females. They prohibit schools from maintaining sex-separate restrooms or locker rooms. They open the door for biological males to compete on female-only sports teams by prohibiting schools from making decisions based on ‘sex-stereotypes,’ including ‘stereotypes’ based on actual, physiological differences in athletic ability. And they remove dignity and privacy protections for boys and girls,” court documents state.

According to ACLU of Utah, HB257 “disallows students from accessing sex-designated privacy spaces that do not correspond with a person’s sex as defined in the bill. ... This prohibition includes sex-specific restrooms, locker rooms, shower rooms and changing rooms,” its website states.

The new Title IX rules also broaden the definition of sexual harassment and stipulates that colleges and universities are no longer required to hold live hearings to allow students to cross-examine each other.

Universities can still hold live hearings if they choose to but students must have the option to participate remotely and stop questions that are “unclear or harassing.”

Utah joins some 20 Republican-led states that have sued the Biden administration over the new Title IX regulations, which may result in the rules being blocked in court before taking effect this summer.