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Federal government says Title IX protects students from sexual orientation or gender identity discrimination

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The U.S. Department of Education publicly affirmed this week that any recipient of federal financial assistance under Title IX can’t discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity in any of their education programs or activities, according to a press release.

The news came from the Department’s Office for Civil Rights, which issued a Notice of Interpretation yesterday, saying that it will enforce Title IX’s “prohibition on discrimination on the basis of sex,” when it comes to these areas.

The press release goes on to say that the “Department’s interpretation,” comes from the U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Bostock v. Clayton County case from last year. It says the Court “recognized that it is impossible to discriminate against a person based on their sexual orientation or gender identity without discriminating against that person based on sex.”

“The Supreme Court has upheld the right for 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 protections. I’m proud to have directed the Office for Civil Rights to enforce Title IX to protect all students from all forms of sex discrimination,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona in the press release. “Today, the Department makes clear that all students—including LGBTQ+ students—deserve the opportunity to learn and thrive in schools that are free from discrimination.”

Read the full press release here.


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