WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Center for Lesbian Rights strongly condemns the United States Department of Education for releasing a new rule that weakens Title IX protections, making schools less safe — particularly for LGBTQ students. The new rule gives more power to those accused of misconduct, while rolling back protections for survivors of sexual assault and harassment.
"For over three years now, we have watched with dismay as this administration has cast aside critical laws and policies that protected LGBTQ people and others from harmful discrimination," said NCLR Policy Director Julianna Gonen. "Today's new rule from the Department of Education implementing Title IX continues this harmful pattern. Federal officials are once again demonstrating that they are more concerned with shielding those who subject others to discrimination, harassment, and even assault than they are with protecting their victims. This rule turns the promise of Title IX on its head and will make schools less safe, particularly for LGBTQ students, who experience higher levels of harassment and assault than do other students."
"The Department of Education has an obligation to enforce Title IX and ensure all students are afforded a learning environment free from discrimination," said Asaf Orr, NCLR Senior Staff Attorney and Transgender Youth Project Director. "As of today, the federal government has abandoned that critical obligation. Students will no longer be able to count on the federal government to investigate schools that mistreat and discriminate against students based on sex, including LGBTQ students. Instead, these students will be required to sue their school districts just to be treated with the dignity and respect to which all students are entitled."
In January 2019, NCLR submitted comments to the Department of Education opposing the proposed rule due to the fact that it would ignore the reality of sexual harassment in schools and undermine enforcement of Title IX, among other factors.
The National Center for Lesbian Rights ( NCLR ) is a national legal organization committed to advancing the human and civil rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education. Since its founding, NCLR has maintained a longstanding commitment to racial and economic justice and the LGBTQ community's most vulnerable. www.nclrights.org .
—From a press release