NCLR applauds Department of Education’s commitment to protecting LGBTQ students

The Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, which enforces Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, has strongly affirmed that Title IX’s prohibition of sex discrimination includes discrimination against students based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

This clarification tracks the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in 2020 that federal prohibitions against sex discrimination in the workplace protect employees who suffer discrimination or harassment due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. Last year's ruling was based on the Court’s conclusion that discrimination against a person for being gay or transgender is necessarily based on that person’s sex.

NCLR Transgender Youth Project Director Asaf Orr (he/him)said: “Every young person deserves an equal opportunity to learn and participate in school. LGBTQ+ students experience much higher levels of discrimination and harassment, and that is particularly true for LGBTQ+ children of color and LGBTQ children with disabilities. The Department of Education’s commitment to those students means that they are much more likely to experience welcoming educational environments where they can learn and thrive."

The Department of Education’s action also puts states on notice that the recent rash of laws seeking to ban transgender students from school sports violates federal law, as one court has already ruled. NCLR stands with the Department of Education on these issues and will do everything in its power to protect LGBTQ+ students around the country.”


The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) is a national legal organization committed to advancing the human and civil rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education. Since its founding, NCLR has maintained a longstanding commitment to racial and economic justice and the LGBTQ community’s most vulnerable.

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