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Stop WOKE (Wrongs to Our Kids’ Educational) Meals Act would ban Biden from withholding federal food…

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2022-07-26
https://govtrackinsider.com/stop-woke-wrongs-to-our-kids-educational-meals-act-would-ban-biden-from-withholding-federal-food-e368a3e2ce5f

Stop WOKE (Wrongs to Our Kids’ Educational) Meals Act would ban Biden from withholding federal food funds from schools based on their anti-transgender-student policies

Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI6)

If the government really wanted to stop “woke” meals, then they would only serve decaffeinated beverages.

Context

On his first day in office, President Joe Biden signed an executive order directing executive branch agencies and departments across his administration to extend federal protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Accordingly, in May, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that it will ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity for two major federal programs: the National School Lunch Program and SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, before 2008 known as food stamps).

In other words, if the Biden administration determines that a school is discriminating based on sexual orientation or gender identity — for example, by requiring that a student participate on a sports team or use a restroom based on their sex at birth, rather than their gender identity — the administration could limit or withhold their federal funding for school meals.

Those two programs both already banned discrimination on the basis of “sex.” The directive was not only meant to comply with Biden’s executive order, but also with the Supreme Court’s 2020 decision Bostock v. Clayton County, which ruled 6–3 that the Civil Rights Act’s 1964 ban on sex discrimination must be interpreted to evolve over time and now apply to sexual orientation too.

What the bill does

The Stop WOKE (Wrongs to Our Kids’ Educational) Meals Act would both repeal Biden’s executive order about sexual orientation and gender identity, and specifically prevent it from being carried out with regard to federal money for school meals.

It does not appear the bill would specifically prevent the Agriculture Department’s other concurrent announcement, about the essentially-identical policy for SNAP benefits.

It was introduced in the House on June 23 as H.R. 8206, by Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI6).

What supporters say

Supporters argue that the new policy presents schools, especially schools in red states, with a Sophie’s Choice between their principles and food.

“Comply with radical transgender ideology or leave low-income students without meals. That is the choice President Biden’s USDA is setting up for schools,” Rep. Grothman said in a press release.

“This mandate from the administration is a way to strongarm schools into falling in line with the ‘woke’ left’s worldview and it is disgraceful,” Rep. Grothman continued. “If a school, parent, student, or teacher believes that there are biological differences between males and females, too bad, because their federal funding may be cut off if they don’t obey this mandate.”

“Nobody dreamed that someday school lunches would be used as leverage to force school districts to do what the transgender lobby wants.”

What opponents say

Opponents counter that the move is meant to nudge policies designed to help a historically marginalized and discriminated population.

“USDA is committed to administering all its programs with equity and fairness, and serving those in need with the highest dignity,” Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said in a press release. “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,” Vilsack continued. “We hope that by standing firm against these inequities, we will help bring about much-needed change.”

Odds of passage

The bill has attracted 18 cosponsors, all Republicans. It awaits a potential vote in the House Education and Labor Committee.

Odds of passage are low in the Democratic-controlled chamber.

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This article was written by GovTrack Insider staff writer Jesse Rifkin.

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Stop WOKE (Wrongs to Our Kids’ Educational) Meals Act would ban Biden from withholding federal food… was originally published in GovTrack Insider on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.