Title IX Protects Gay and Transgender Students

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Title IX’s protections against sexual discrimination and violence extend to gay and transgender students, the U.S. Department of Education announced Wednesday in an interpretation of the 2020 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County. (The full notice is embedded below)

Acting on statements Education Secretary Miguel Cardona has made since he was nominated, the department’s notice reinforces that “on the basis of sex” includes sexual orientation and gender identity. The few tense moments Cardona has had in hearings before Congress so far have involved questions from Republicans over whether transgender girls should be allowed to compete against biological girls in high school and college sports.

Related: ‘It’s So Hard’: As Trans Bans Spread, Experts Weigh How to Balance Fairness and Inclusion in High School Sports

“Today is an important milestone in the struggle to recognize the rights of LGBTQ+ students, one that we mark with pride,” Suzanne Goldberg, acting assistant secretary for civil rights, wrote in a blog post.

Last week, the department’s Office for Civil Rights held a five-day public comment period on a revamped Title IX rule, and stressed that officials were especially interested in hearing from those who have experienced harassment because of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Related: Deja Vu as Ed Department Once Again Revisits the Contentious Landscape of Title IX

In a statement, Congressman Bobby Scott, a Democrat from Virginia and chair of the House education committee, said “LGBTQ students will have strong and clear legal protections from discrimination in schools, and a safe learning environment.”

According to The New York Times, it’s unclear how the notice will impact states that have passed legislation banning trans students from competing against girls.

Today’s full release:

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