Nebraska AG joins lawsuit against USDA over LGBTQ school guidance

More than 20 Republican attorneys general have filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration
Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson
Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson
Published: Jul. 27, 2022 at 12:49 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 27, 2022 at 2:21 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - More than 20 Republican attorneys general have filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration over a Department of Agriculture school meal program that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The challenge claims that the federal government is attempting to force states and schools to follow antidiscrimination requirements that misconstrue the law.

The attorneys general involved in the lawsuit filed Tuesday are from Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and West Virginia.

The USDA had previously announced it would include discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity as a violation of Title IX. But it was not clear whether the federal government would hold back funding for school meal programs as part of its enforcement.

Nebraska AG Doug Peterson issued a statement on Thursday calling attention to what he called “misinformation” from the ACLU of Nebraska about the lawsuit originating out of Tennessee.

“The Office of the Attorney General has learned that the Nebraska ACLU is disseminating misinformation regarding our recent lawsuit filed in Tennessee. The lawsuit is not seeking to stop children from receiving lunches. Such an assertion is ridiculous. The Biden Administration is threatening to withhold lunch money from underprivileged kids because their schools require males to play on boys’ sports teams and females to play on girls’ sports teams. The lawsuit we joined asks the court to determine that the Administration does not possess such legal authority. The ACLU’s characterization of the case is disingenuous. Accurate facts, not fiction, are critical to an informed discussion of any important public issue.”

Statement from Doug Peterson, Attorney General for the State of Nebraska

The ACLU said in a tweet that Peterson and Gov. Pete Ricketts were “totally out of line” in their objective to “stop school lunch guidance aimed at protecting LGBTQ students from discrimination.”

Digital Director Gina Dvorak contributed to this article.

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