Should Title IX include gender identity and sexual orientation?


Fact Box

  • On June 23, 1972, Congress enacted Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, prohibiting federally funded educational institutions from discriminating against students or employees based on sex, stating no one in the US 'on the basis of sex [shall] be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.'
  • On April 19, 2024, the Biden admin released its final Title IX regulations to include sexual orientation and gender identity under sex-based harassment or discrimination protections. It requires schools to “take prompt and effective action to end any sex discrimination in their education programs or activities,” among other actions.
  • The Department of Education issued the 1,500 page 'unofficial version' of the final regulations, fact sheet, and summary of these significant rule change provisions alongside the finalized rule change announcement.
  • Because the 2020 SCOTUS ruling in the Bostock v. Clayton County reinterpreted 'sex' to include sexual orientation and gender identity under workplace civil rights law, the Biden admin claimed these Title IX revisions have its legal foundation in this decision.
  • A March 2024 Gallop report found that a record high 7.6% of US adults identify as LGBTQ+, up from 3.5% in 2012.

Suzanne (No)

The Biden administration's expansion and change to Title IX to specifically make 'sexual orientation' and 'gender identity' protected categories included under 'sex' in Title IX is not a factually or legally correct move. This change will ultimately harm everyone in the US—students, parents, and especially women and girls—if not revoked or challenged in court.

Sex is a set, definitive category addressing the tangible reality of the biological male and female binary. 'Sexual orientation' and 'gender identity' are not tangible things. Sexual orientation—primarily being lesbian or gay—refers to actions made upon internal feelings of attraction a person has toward someone of the same sex. Including this under 'sex' restricts faith-based institutions from promoting traditional sexual values to students or sorting them according to biological sex (for bathrooms, changing spaces, and sports), as they now risk facing discrimination charges

This change to Title IX is entirely unconstitutional as it clashes with the First Amendment, which guarantees religious and speech freedoms. Gender identity is a term so voluminous and ever-expanding that it's impossible to protect it under the law without using extreme partiality. The concept itself is not objective or observable, as it is an 'innermost concept of self' and should not be considered a protected category like sex or race. A person believing they are neither sex does not make it so. 

Even non-religious people object to sex being downgraded to simply a 'social construct.' Acknowledging biology is not bigotry. Sex is fixed and immutable; it cannot change with therapy or surgery. Yet, even in 2024, we're confused as a society as to what humans are (male and female) and how best to give each group fair protection in law. 

Chad (Yes)

Under the 14th amendment of the US Constitution as part of the Civil Rights Act of 1972, Title IX now affirms the protection of all US citizens to have their rights protected and free from discrimination or harassment no matter how they are or identify. This provision states that no school or government-funded agency can retaliate against someone who makes a complaint of harassment based on sex. This law now also includes and applies to gender identity and sexual orientation, as both have been determined to fall under the broader definition of 'sex.' 

The US Department of Education confirmed this in 2021 following the Supreme Court's decision in Bostock v. Clayton County. Their decision, in that case, stated that 'it is impossible to discriminate against a person based on their sexual orientation or gender identity without discriminating against that person based on sex.' This asserts that these things are indeed one and the same.

At the heart of the Civil Rights Act was an intent not just to protect women in this country but to bring the freedoms and protection brought by our founding documents to all people within its borders. A recent survey found that 75% of LGBTQ+ youth had experienced 'discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation.' Likewise, about 42% of LGBTQ+ youth have contemplated suicide in the past year as they face discrimination, bullying, and abuse from their peers and administrators.

This fact does not reflect our country's founding principle that 'all men are created equal.' Only by making progress in this and all areas of discrimination and harassment in this country can we move toward the society we have envisioned.

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