The Department of Education announced on Wednesday that LGBTQ students are protected from discrimination at school by Title IX.
“Today, the Department makes clear that all students – including LGBTQ+ students – deserve the opportunity to learn and thrive in schools that are free from discrimination,” Miguel Cardona, Education Secretary, said.
The announcement from the department of education is timely — it is Pride Month. Pride Month is a celebration of the Stonewall riots in New York City during the late 1960s. The gay community began to protest after a police raid at Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan.
“The Supreme Court has upheld the right for LGBTQ+ people to live and work without fear of harassment, exclusion, and discrimination – and our LGBTQ+ students have the same rights and deserve the same protections,” Cardona said.
In a press release announcing the decision, the Education Department said they interpret Title IX’s prohibition on sex discrimination to encompass discrimination based on sexual orientation, as well as gender identity.
Title IX is a federal bill that was passed in 1972. The legislation prohibits gender-based discrimination in educational institutions that receive federal money.
Students will now have the same protections in school that gay and transgender workers have in the workplace.
Former President Donald Trump’s administration threatened to withhold funding from schools that let transgender children play in school sports.
“This is the day that transgender kids and their families have been waiting for,” Rodrigo Heng-Lehtinen, Deputy Executive Director for the National Center for Transgender Equality.
More than 250 anti-LBGTQ bills have been introduced this year, according to the Human Rights Campaign.