Equal Rights Advocates Applauds Biden Admin’s Proposed Title IX Regulations Expanding Protections for Campus Sexual Assault Survivors and Transgender Students
June 23. 2022
For Immediate Release
Jun 23, 2022
Statement by Noreen Farrell, Executive Director of Equal Rights Advocates (ERA), which fights for gender justice in workplaces and schools across the country, with contributions by Maha Ibrahim (Managing Attorney of ERA’s Initiative to End Sexual Violence in Education) and Kel O’Hara (Staff Attorney leading ERA’s LGBTQIA+ programs)
June 23, 2022 – On this 50th Anniversary of Title IX, Equal Rights Advocates (ERA) applauds the release today by the Biden Administration of proposed Title IX regulations to better protect vulnerable students from all forms of sex discrimination in federally funded educational programs.
This is a moment to celebrate. The proposed regulations demonstrate the Biden Administration’s deep understanding of the law and the needs of students nationwide. They also reflect years of work by student activists and advocates. These proposed regulations address much of the damage to Title IX caused by the Trump Administration. They also push the reach of the law to protect more students and improve the process by which students vindicate their Title IX rights.
The proposed regulations released today are remarkable in several respects. They demonstrably strengthen protections for student survivors of sexual assault. They explicitly protect LGBTQIA+ students, which is absolutely essential as we combat a dramatic increase in hateful legislative attacks against transgender youth and the broader LGBTQAI+ community. Notably, the proposed regulations also recognize the intersectional identities of students, such as students with disabilities with gender equity concerns. Additionally, the nuance of the proposed regulations in distinguishing between K-12 students and students in higher education is unprecedented and much needed.
The proposed regulations released today do not address athletics, but those that do are anticipated. ERA urges the Biden Administration to take immediate action on this front so that no students, including and especially transgender youth, suffer from further delay.
Title IX was passed 50 years ago to prohibit sex discrimination in federally funded educational programs, including sports. It has been successfully relied on to break gender stereotypes limiting academic and sports participation, combat sexual violence and harassment on campus, and protect pregnant and parenting students. However, significant barriers to progress remain, especially for the most vulnerable populations on school campuses: queer and trans students, students of color, and student survivors of sexual harassment and assault. These barriers will only worsen if the reproductive choice of students is undermined. Today’s regulations were released as the country awaits the final Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which may overturn the constitutional right to seek an abortion. Such an outcome will threaten the ability of students to make decisions about if and when to have children, inevitably impacting their access to education.
In the face of these challenges and barriers, the Biden Administration demonstrates with these proposed regulations an exemplary commitment to fulfilling the promise of Title IX on the 50th Anniversary of its passage. ERA looks forward to robust education and engagement during the public comment period, and to strong implementation measures in the year ahead. The future of students across the nation depends on it.
About Equal Rights Advocates
Equal Rights Advocates fights for gender justice in workplaces and schools across the country. Since 1974, they have been fighting on the front lines of social justice to protect and advance rights and opportunities for women, girls, and people of all gender identities through groundbreaking legal cases and bold legislation that sets the stage for the rest of the nation.