U.S. Education Department to protect students based on sexual orientation and gender identity

On Wednesday, the Education Department announced its plans to enforce elements of Title IX that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The move comes one year after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that federal civil rights law protects LGBTQ workers from being fired based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said: “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. 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.”

Under the June 15, 2020, Supreme Court ruling, Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote that Title VII makes it illegal to discriminate based on a person’s sex and the landmark law covers gay and transgender Americans. The justices ruled that sexual orientation and transgender status applies in that description.

Editorial credit: Justin Kozemchak / Shutterstock.com

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