FRANKFORT, Ky. (NEWSnet/AP) — A federal judge on Monday temporarily blocked a Title IX rule expanding protections for LGBTQ+ students from six additional states.

The decision is another legal setback for a pending Biden administration policy that has been under attack by Republican attorneys general.

U.S. District Judge Danny C. Reeves referred to the regulation as “arbitrary in the truest sense of the word” in granting a preliminary injunction blocking it in Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. His ruling comes days after a different federal judge temporarily blocked the new rule from taking effect in Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi and Montana.

The ruling Monday in Kentucky was applauded by the state’s GOP attorney general, Russell Coleman, who said the regulation would undermine equal opportunities for women.

“The judge’s order makes clear that the U.S. Department of Education’s attempt to redefine ‘sex’ to include ‘gender identity’ is unlawful and beyond the agency’s regulatory authority,” Coleman said in a statement.

The two cases are among at least seven backed by more than 20 Republican-led states fighting President Joe Biden’s rule. Set to take hold in August, the policy expands Title IX civil rights protections to LGBTQ+ students, expands the definition of sexual harassment at schools and colleges, and adds safeguards for victims.

In another lawsuit, the Education Department on Friday asked a federal judge in Missouri to deny a request for a preliminary injunction against the new rule. The lawsuit was filed last month by the Republican attorneys general from Arkansas, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota.

The department said enjoining the rule “would substantially harm the federal government’s interest in preventing discrimination in federally funded educational programs and activities.”

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