U.S. Department Of Education Issues Guidance Stating Title IX Provides Protection Against Discrimination Based On Sexual Orientation And Gender Identity

CATEGORY: Private Education Matters
CLIENT TYPE: Private Education
DATE: Jul 06, 2021

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a Notice of Interpretation on June 16, 2021, explaining that it will enforce the prohibition on discrimination based on sex under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX) to include discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The Notice of Interpretation continues OCR’s efforts to promote safe and inclusive schools for all students and is part of the Biden Administration’s commitment to advance the rights of the LGBTQ+ students, which are set out in President Biden’s Executive Orders on guaranteeing an educational environment free from discrimination based on sex and combating discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.

Additionally, OCR issued a Dear Educator Letter on June 23, 2021, to celebrate the 49th anniversary of the passage of Title IX, highlight the law’s impact on education, and provide recent developments and resources. The Letter includes a new fact sheet on sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination. It also notes that OCR is reviewing the public comments it received during the recent virtual public hearings and anticipates issuing a notice of proposed rulemaking. It is anticipated that such notice would amend the federal Title IX regulations issued in 2020 and a question-and-answer document so as to clarify schools’ existing obligations under the 2020 amendments, including the areas in which schools have discretion in their procedures for responding to reports of sexual harassment.

Read the Notice of Interpretation here.

Read the Dear Educator Letter here.


The notice is relevant for private K-12 schools, colleges, and universities that must comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 (Title IX), including private schools that accepted federal financial assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan.

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