2 Judges Block Biden’s New Title IX Rule Expanding LGBTQ+ Protections

The Title IX changes that are intended to bolster protections of LGBTQ+ youth have been blocked from going into effect in 10 states.
Published: June 19, 2024

Two judges have temporarily blocked the Biden administration’s expansion of Title IX that would expand protections of LGBTQ+ students.

The changes have been blocked from going into effect on August 1 in a total of ten states: Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia, reports the Associated Press.

Related Article: Revised Title IX Regulations Are Finally Here: What Has Changed and What to Do Next

Seven legal challenges have been brought by more than 20 Republican-led states against the changes. They claim the new policy will allow transgender girls to play on girls’ athletic teams. However, the Biden administration says the new rule doesn’t apply to sports.

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The new rule was issued in April and extends LGBTQ+ student protections at K-12 schools under Title IX, which bars discrimination “on the basis of sex,” reports Reuters. However, Lexington, Kentucky-based U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves ruled that “sex” is not the same thing as “gender identity,” reports the Kentucky Lantern. Reeves also said the new rule would violate free speech and religious freedom rights.

The Kentucky judge’s ruling mirrors a previous ruling by another federal judge in Louisiana. For the other 16 states that are challenging the new rules, those cases are pending.

New Title IX Rules Would Further Protect LGBTQ+ Students

The Biden administration introduced the new Title IX rules so that “all of our nation’s students can access schools that are safe, welcoming, and respect their rights,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona in a statement.

LGBTQ+ youth are much more prone to being bullied than other students. The Human Right Campaign Foundation found that 96% of queer youth are exposed to offensive and hurtful anti-LGBTQ+ online content. In 2022, 49% of trans and non-binary youth experienced cyberbullying based on their gender identity. Nearly half of LGBTQ+ youth considered suicide in 2021 due in great part to how they were treated by others.

Related Article: How Will the New Title IX Regulations Impact Sports?

However, LGBTQ+ middle and high school students with access to at least one of the following school-related protective factors had 26% lower odds of attempting suicide in the past year:

  1. Access to a gender-neutral bathroom
  2. Teachers who respect students’ pronouns
  3. History classes that discuss LGBTQ people
  4. Sex education that includes LGBTQ experiences
  5. Access to a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA)

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