Sexual Orientation Discrimination Ruled to Be Prohibited Under Title IX

The ruling may set a precedent with courts around the country.

Sexual orientation discrimination is sex discrimination in educational matters, a federal judge ruled Dec. 15.

The ruling means that students discriminated against for their sexual orientation are protected under the Title IX law.

The decision was made by District Judge Dean Pregerson and allows Haley Videckis and Layanna White, two former basketball players at Pepperdine University, to continue with a lawsuit against the school, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Pregerson submitted his 22-page ruling after hearing the case of the two former players, who claim the university harassed and discriminated against them because they were in a lesbian relationship.

The university argued in court that Title IX doesn’t apply to sexual orientation discrimination, but Pregerson ruled that each plaintiffs’ sex was at the root of the issue, writing “If plaintiffs had been males dating females, instead of females dating females, they would not have been subjected to the alleged different treatment…Simply put, the line between sex discrimination and sexual orientation discrimination is ‘difficult to draw’ because that line does not exist, save as a lingering and faulty judicial construct.”

RELATED: ATIXA: Schools Must Protect LGBT, Gender Non-Conforming Students from Harassment

Pregerson had previously ruled in favor of the university after lawyers for the school cited decades of precedent in Title IX cases but allowed the plaintiffs to amend their lawsuit.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had ruled that Title VII covers sexual orientation discrimination over the summer.

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