The Biden Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that all state and local agencies that receive federal funding for meals, a category that includes schools, must not discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

In a press release dated May 5, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) announced it would now interpret the ban on discrimination based on sex included in Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and food-related legislation and programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly the Food Stamp program, to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

The interpretation means schools that receive funding through the federal school lunch program could face the loss of those funds if they prohibit biological males who claim to identity as female from using girls’ bathrooms.

Biden Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said in a statement:

USDA is committed to administering all its programs with equity and fairness, and serving those in need with the highest dignity. A key step in advancing these principles is rooting out discrimination in any form – including discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. At the same time, we must recognize the vulnerability of the LGBTQI+ communities and provide them with an avenue to grieve any discrimination they face. We hope that by standing firm against these inequities we will help bring about much-needed change.

As a result of USDA’s interpretation of sex discrimination, the agency says all “state and local agencies, program operators and sponsors that receive funds from FNS must investigate allegations of discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.”

“Those organizations must also update their non-discrimination policies and signage to include prohibitions against discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation,” the notice states.

The move is part of the Biden administration’s push to embed gender ideology into federal law.

On the day of his inauguration, Biden signed an executive order that seeks to fight perceived discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.

Biden’s effort to normalize the transgender lifestyle has even included an endorsement of “gender-affirming care” for children and adolescents who claim discomfort with their biological sex. Such “care” includes the administration of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and body-mutilating surgeries such as elective double mastectomies and castrations.

“Whether you are grocery shopping, standing in line at the school cafeteria, or picking up food from a food bank, you should be able to do so without fear of discrimination,” said Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services Deputy Under Secretary Stacy Dean, according to the USDA announcement. “No one should be denied access to nutritious food simply because of who they are or how they identify.”

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Susan Berry, PhD, is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]