Last May, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that food assistance programs that receive funding from the Food and Nutrition Service were ordered to “investigate allegations of discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation” and to update their policies to specifically prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.
Of course Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is challenging the federal Food and Nutrition Service’s new policy.
Paxton claims the guidance issued by the USDA is “unlawful” because states were not consulted and did not have an opportunity to provide feedback, in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act. They also argue that the USDA is misinterpreting the Supreme Court case Bostock v. Clayton County, which extended sexual discrimination in the workplace to include discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.
“[It] will inevitably result in regulatory chaos that threatens essential nutritional services to some of the most vulnerable citizens,” Paxton’s office said in a press release.
Tuesday’s lawsuit was filed in the Eastern District of Tennessee Knoxville Division