Updated Apr 19, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Biden administration expands protections for LGBTQ+ students

Illustration of a set of lockers with the colors of the rainbow flag

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Biden administration on Friday expanded protections for LGBTQ+ students under Title IX, protecting against "discrimination based on sex stereotypes, sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex characteristics."

The big picture: The 1972 civil rights law was more narrowly applied under guidance from former President Trump's administration, but the new regulations reflect a major federal push to combat sex discrimination in schools.

  • They also offer new safeguards for survivors of sexual assault on campuses.

What they're saying: Kelley Robinson, president of the LGBTQ+ advocacy group the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement that the new rule "makes it clear" that school districts are obligated "to protect students from discrimination."

  • "In practice, this means students can use the bathroom and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity, can attend prom and other schools dances with a same-sex date, and can depict LGBTQ+ families in the art they paint and in the stories they write," Robinson said.
  • "It also means schools can't intentionally misgender students, create a hostile environment where LGTBQ+ students are bullied, or retaliate against students who complain of harassment or discrimination."

Catch up quick: The Education Department unveiled a proposal earlier this month to change Title IX rules guiding the rights of transgender athletes on school sports teams, Axios' Sareen Habeshian reported.

  • The policy from the Biden administration does not address transgender athletes, and the Education Department said its "rulemaking process is still ongoing for a Title IX regulation related to athletics."

Zoom in: Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said Friday in a statement the new regulations "build on the legacy of Title IX by clarifying that all our nation's students can access schools that are safe, welcoming, and respect their rights."

  • The regulations will take effect on August 1, per the Education Department.

Go deeper: Biden's plan to change Title IX to address trans athletes

Go deeper