US Department of Education interprets Title IX to protect LGBTQ + students – JURIST – News
The US Department of Education released a interpretation notice Wednesday to extend Title IX’s ban on sex discrimination to gender identity and sexual orientation, reversing the opposing position taken by the Education Department under the Trump administration.
Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments prevents discrimination on the basis of sex in any education program offered by a recipient of federal financial assistance from the department. The new interpretation of Title IX is based on the verdict of the United States Supreme Court in Bostock vs. Clayton County in which the court ruled that discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation inherently involves discrimination based on sex. Although the Bostock since the decision only interpreted Title VII, the opinion indicated that the tribunal’s reasoning also applied to Title IX.
US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said:
The Supreme Court upheld the right of LGBTQ + people to live and work without fear of harassment, exclusion and discrimination – and our LGBTQ + students have the same rights and deserve the same protection. I am proud to have called on the Civil Rights Office to enforce Title IX to protect all students from all forms of gender discrimination.
In addition, the opinion indicated that the new interpretation prevails over any previous contradictory statement made by the ministry on the scope of the jurisdiction of Title IX in matters of discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. However, he affirmed the exemption of educational establishments controlled by religious organizations from the application of Title IX.
Interpretation comes after President Joe Biden signed a decree in March ensuring an educational environment free from discrimination based on sex, including gender identity and sexual orientation.
Recently, the Civil Rights Office of the Department of Education also reported that LGBTQ + students face additional challenges at school, including disproportionate bullying, bullying and victimization, which has been made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic.