Attorney General Jason Miyares is one of 23 attorneys general suing the USDA over expanded guidance adding discrimination based on sexual orientation and identity to its application of Title IX rules for the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), which provides federal funding for food assistance programs including school meals.

“The Biden Administration is attempting to use the power of the federal government to force Virginia to choose between nutrition assistance for vulnerable children or advancing an extremist agenda,” Miyares spokesperson Victoria LaCivita said in a statement.

The complaint argues that the USDA didn’t follow the proper procedures in issuing new guidance. The complaint cites a U.S. Department of Education fact sheet and suggests that the administration’s interpretation of U.S. Supreme Court cases including Bostock v. Clayton leads to requirements that schools allow transgender students to use the restroom of their choice and for transgender girls to play in girls sports.

“In particular, the Fact Sheet indicates that preventing a transgender high school girl (a biological male) from using the girls’ restroom would constitute discrimination,” the lawsuit states.

The attorneys general want the court to issue judgements blocking implementation of the USDA memorandum and banning the USDA from penalizing or withdrawing federal funding from states that regulate individuals’ access to restrooms, don’t require employees to use preferred pronouns, or assign students to teams based on biological sex.

LaCivita said, “The federal government is telling states that they must either pay for gender-neutral bathrooms and allow biological males to play women’s sports, or they will not receive nutrition assistance for needy children. These are not decisions that should be – nor can be – made by the heavy hand of the federal government, and leveraging food for children in this political fight is beyond the pale. That’s why the Attorney General joined this lawsuit—to protect Virginia’s sovereignty and its children’s access to food.”

“Over 122.5 million lunches, 35 million breakfasts, and 1.3 million snacks every year are given to Virginia school children. The Biden Administration cannot use nutrition assistance as a tool to push a radical political agenda,” she said.

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Eric Burk is a reporter at The Virginia Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].