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Knudsen joins lawsuit over federal LGBTQ discrimination policy for schools

School hallway.
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Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen has joined 21 other states in suing the Biden administration over new guidance that could withhold funds from states that are found to discriminate against LGBTQ youth.

The federal U.S. Department of Agriculture announced in May a policy change that requires agencies to investigate instances of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in schools or programs that recieve federal food assistance. The policy threatens to withhold food assistance dollars if the discrimination isn’t remedied.

Knudsen called the policy “reprehensible” for tying it to money used to feed low-income kids. The lawsuit with other attorney generals was filed Tuesday, July 26, in Tennessee.

The Montana Legislature passed last session bills that ban transgender women and girls from participating in school sports and restricted the process to amend the gender marker on a birth certicate. The second law is being challenged in court.

Shaylee is Montana Public Radio's Capitol reporter. She previously worked for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and covered the 2019 legislative session for the University of Montana's Legislative News Service.