Navigating title IX: Implications for LGBTQ+ students in education

Navigating title IX: Implications for LGBTQ+ students in education

The assessments of the much anticipated amendment to Title IX, the nation’s preeminent gender equity statute, are in, and they’re as divided as a can of Sherwin-Williams paint. The amendments were hailed by civil rights activists at the Southern Poverty Law Center for “bolstering protections for LGBTQ+ students.” Trans athletes were “abandoned” by the new laws, according to a specialist on sexual abuse. Additionally, Riley Gaines, an athlete who opposes the involvement of transgender athletes in women’s sports, claimed that the modifications officially abolished Title IX as we knew it.“

Overview of title IX regulations

Florida, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and South Carolina are among the states that have ordered schools to disregard the policy’s recommendations. On April 25, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared, “We will not comply.” Acting in 1972, Title IX forbids discrimination on the basis of gender in schools receiving federal funding. The legislation transformed athletics by mandating that women and men be given equal opportunity to participate, but it is most renowned for its application to admissions, classrooms, and safeguarding students against sexual harassment. The most recent adjustments were made in response to a request made by President Joe Biden in 2021 for the Department of Education to review its Title IX enforcement regulations in light of changes made during the Trump administration and a 2020 Supreme Court decision that expanded the definition of “sex discrimination” to include discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Updated “Final Title IX Regulations” were issued by the Education Department on April 19 following two years and 240,000 public comments.

Changes in title IX regulations

The new “rule” changed a number of procedures pertaining to inquiries into sexual misbehavior, including defining sexual harassment more broadly. However, the impact this will have on LGBTQ+ kids has received a lot of attention. The modifications did not include any guidance on transgender athletes in this set of regulations, despite the current issue surrounding transgender athletes and Title IX’s close connection to athletics. In accordance with the significant 2020 Supreme Court ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, the new regulations extend Title IX rights to LGBTQ+ students. 

Potential implications for LGBTQ+ Students

Justice Neil Gorsuch said in the majority judgment, “It is impossible to discriminate against a person for being homosexual or transgender without discriminating against that individual based on sex.” He claimed that it is discriminatory because a woman who is drawn to males is accepted yet a man who is not attracted to men is not. Following Bostock, legal activists and the Biden administration have maintained that other statutes that forbid “sex discrimination,” such Title IX, the Immigration and Nationality Act, and the Fair Housing Act, must be interpreted using the same logic. In essence, that is what the 2024 regulations accomplish, classifying discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity as Title IX.

Legal protections and challenges

Now, students who identify as LGBTQ+ and believe they have experienced discrimination due to their gender identity or sexual orientation, can seek recourse under Title IX safeguards. Professor Ruth Colker of Ohio State University’s law school stated, “You’re not going to be dismissed because you don’t have standing under the statute to bring the argument.”

Key PointDetail
Increased DefensesEffective August 1, 2024, the revised Title IX requirements provide LGBTQ+ students with additional safeguards against sex discrimination. This is in line with the 2020 ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County by the Supreme Court, which held that discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation qualifies as sex discrimination.
Title IX Claim SubmissionStudents who identify as LGBTQ+ and who experience discrimination because of their gender identity or sexual orientation for example, getting turned down for a part in a school play because they are gay may now submit Title IX claims.
Potential Lawsuits Against State LawsThe rules may be in opposition to discriminatory state laws, such “bathroom bans” for transgender pupils. Lawsuits concerning whether these state statutes qualify as sex discrimination under Title IX may result from this.
Finance and ImplementationWhile it has the authority to do so, the Department of Education has not frequently exercised this authority in the past to withhold federal money from institutions that violate Title IX.
Athletics for Transgender StudentsAfter receiving more than 150,000 public comments, the Department of Education is still working on laws pertaining to transgender kids’ participation in school athletics.


In conclusion, The court in Bostock determined that firing someone based on their gender identity or sexual orientation constitutes “sex discrimination,” which is illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, after considering a number of cases in which workers claimed they were dismissed because they were homosexual or transgender. 


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