LGBTQ+ Protections Included in Title IX Changes

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LGBTQ flag waving in the sky
LGBTQ flag waving in the sky

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) unveiled Friday its Final Rule Under Title IX, which includes new protections for LGBTQ+ students and employees at federally funded educational institutions. Specifically, the regulations bolster protections against discrimination, including harassment and sexual violence, based on sex stereotypes, sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex characteristics. 

“No one should have to give up their dreams of attending or finishing school because they’re pregnant,” U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona in a Thursday press briefing. “No one should face bullying or discrimination just because of who they are or who they love. Sadly, this happens all too often.”

Schools are mandated to take swift and decisive action to address discrimination complaints, prevent a recurrence, and rectify the impacts. This includes establishing transparent and unbiased processes for addressing complaints, ensuring fairness for all parties involved.

The regulations also empower students, employees, and families by safeguarding against retaliation for exercising Title IX rights, promoting clear communication of nondiscrimination policies, and protecting student privacy. Under the new rules, schools must also provide protections for students, employees, and applicants regarding pregnancy-related discrimination.

“For more than 50 years, Title IX has promised an equal opportunity to learn and thrive in our nation’s schools free from sex discrimination,” Cardona said in a press release. “These final regulations build on the legacy of Title IX by clarifying that all our nation’s students can access schools that are safe, welcoming, and respect their rights.”

After nearly two years after being proposed — which was delayed due to a lengthy public commenting process — the Title IX changes will go into effect August 1.