Thursday, June 17, 2021

DOE Says Title IX Bans LGBT Discrimination

The U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights yesterday issued a Notice of Interpretation (full text) extending Title IX's non- discrimination provisions to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. This reverses a DOE interpretation issued by the Trump Administration just days before the change in Administrations. (See prior posting.) The new Interpretative memo states in part:

[T]he Department has determined that the interpretation of sex discrimination set out by the Supreme Court in Bostock—that discrimination “because of . . . sex” encompasses discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity—properly guides the Department’s interpretation of discrimination “on the basis of sex” under Title IX and leads to the conclusion that Title IX prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity....

Consistent with the analysis above, OCR will fully enforce Title IX to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in education programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance from the Department.

The Interpretation notes in a footnote, however:

Educational institutions that are controlled by a religious organization are exempt from Title IX to the extent that compliance would not be consistent with the organization’s religious tenets. See 20 U.S.C. § 1681(a)(3).

Deseret News reports on the DOE's action.