New Title IX Protections Face Legal Challenges

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Judge’s gavel against LGBTQ+ pride flag. (Photo courtesy of Jernej Furman via Wikimedia Commons)

Republican lawmakers across the country are seeking to block the Biden administration’s new Title IX expansion, targeting new campus sexual assault rules and protections for LGBTQ+ students.

On Monday, at least three federal lawsuits were filed aiming to overturn the new rules. One was filed by Alabama and includes Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, as well as a collection of advocacy groups against the regulations that govern how colleges must investigate and punish sexual violence.

The same day, the state of Texas filed a suit challenging new guidelines prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. A lawsuit led by Louisiana, with Mississippi, Montana, and Idaho, has also been filed, accusing the administration of government overreach. On Tuesday, West Virginia and Tennessee joined four additional states with a legal action of their own.

The actions all oppose the new Title IX protections for LGBTQ+ students. Specifically, the new regulations bolster protections against discrimination, including harassment and sexual violence, based on sex stereotypes, sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex characteristics. Schools are also mandated to take swift and decisive action to address discrimination complaints, prevent a recurrence, and rectify the impacts.

Further legal action is expected when the department releases a Title IX rule focused on athletics, which the Education Department has promised a separate regulation on. A proposal for the rule would create guidelines for transgender student participation on sports teams which align with one’s gender identity. 

(Photo courtesy of Jernej Furman via Wikimedia Commons)