New Title IX rules protect LGBTQ+ students, bolster safeguards on college campuses

Julie Reichle

A banner from 2022 marking Piedmont's celebration of the 50th anniversary of Title IX legislation.

The revised Title IX regulations by the Education Department add federal law protections for LGBTQ+ students and increase safeguards for victims of campus sexual assault, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported. The Biden administration finalized the rules Friday, and the changes will take effect in August.

Title IX, the 1972 landmark civil rights law prohibiting discrimination based on sex in education that applies to colleges and schools receiving federal money, doesn’t directly address LGBTQ+ rights. The revised regulation clarifies that the law forbids discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, the Union-Tribune reported. 

LGBTQ+ students facing discrimination will be entitled to a school response and can seek federal government intervention if the school fails them.

The new rule makes “crystal clear that everyone can access schools that are safe, welcoming and that respect their rights,” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said.

According to the Union-Tribune, the revisions also dismantle protections for students accused of sexual misconduct created by former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Changes include widening the definition of sexual harassment and no longer requiring live hearings. 

“After years of pressure from students and survivors of sexual violence, the Biden Administration’s Title IX update will make schools safer and more accessible for young people, many of whom experienced irreparable harm while they fought for protection and support,” said Emma Grasso Levine, a senior manager at the group Know Your IX.

The latest change again rewrites the rules around campus sexual assault, according to the Union-Tribune. Biden’s revisions overhauled rules added by Devos which overhauled Obama-era policy.

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