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The Department of Education recently released final changes to Title IX, which include protections for LGBTQ+ students. In order to receive federal funding, the new guidelines require schools “to take prompt and effective action when notified of conduct that reasonably may constitute sex discrimination in their education programs or activities.” Within just a few weeks, more than half of states had already filed lawsuits to block these protections, which are scheduled to take effect on August 1st.   

States are claiming that the new regulations violate the Administrative Procedure Act and raise First Amendment concerns. States also have teamed up with advocacy groups to fight these changes. Alaska, Kansas, Utah, and Wyoming, have sued the Biden Administration alongside Moms for Liberty and several other organizations and individuals. The lawsuit argues that the Biden Administration is using Title IX to “institutionalize the left-wing fad of transgender ideology in our K-12 system and tie funding to it.” 

Some pot-stirring politicians also have criticized the changes and urged school systems to ignore them. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis posted a comment on X saying “Biden is abusing his constitutional authority to push an ideological agenda that harms women and girls and conflicts with the truth” and that Florida will “not comply.” The Louisiana State Superintendent urged school systems to maintain communication with their legal counsel and to not alter policies or procedures at this time.  

Amid rising youth homelessness, the expiration of pandemic relief funding for schools, and a serious youth mental health crisis, it’s deeply unfortunate that leaders across the country are more focused on putting students down than lifting them up.

The National Women’s Law Center and 80+ organizations released a letter in March urging the Biden Administration to protect LGBTQ+ students through Title IX. The groups highlight the youth mental health crisis and its disproportionate impact on LGBTQ+ students. The Administration’s recent changes to Title IX illustrate the power of organizations coming together to advocate for equity.  

The ACLU of South Carolina called out South Carolina Education Superintendent Ellen Weaver, who released a letter urging school districts to not implement the updated Title IX amendments. ACLU of South Carolina Executive Director Jace Woodrum called the directive a direct attack on LGBTQ+ students that puts their well-being at stake. The ACLU is circulating a pledge for individuals to sign to signal their support for transgender youth.  

The Trans Legislation Tracker, an online tool,offers a bill tracker that monitors anti-trans legislation and bills that prevent trans individuals from receiving education, health care, legal recognition, and the right to publicly exist. 

The ACLU is also mapping state legislation nationwide that attacks the rights of LGBTQ+ students. Currently, the ACLU is mapping 515 anti-LGBTQ+ bills across the country.