The U.S. Department of Education today issued a statement clarifying that Title IX’s prohibition against discrimination in education on the basis of sex includes discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

“In a year in which LGBTQ young people, and particularly transgender youth, have been targeted, today’s statement from the Department of Education is a welcome affirmation that LGBTQ students are protected from discrimination in schools the same as any other student,” said Janson Wu, GLAD Executive Director. “As referenced in today’s notice of interpretation of Title IX multiple courts and federal agencies, including the U.S. Supreme Court and DOE’s Office of Civil Rights, have understood that discrimination because someone is transgender, lesbian, gay, bisexual or queer is by definition discrimination because of that person’s sex. Today’s announcement provides clarity for schools regarding the Department’s interpretation of Title IX and says to LGBTQ young people that they have a right to participate in school on equal terms with their peers and without discrimination or harassment.”

The Department’s notice of interpretation on enforcement of Title IX refers to the 2020 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Bostock v. Clayton County which concluded that discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation is necessarily discrimination on the basis of sex. Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any educational program or activity by schools that receive federal funding.