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Resources for LGBTQ Students


OCR enforces Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX), as amended, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1681 et seq., and its implementing regulation at 34 C.F.R. Part 106, which prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department. Every elementary and secondary school system, college and university, vocational school, and proprietary school that receive funds from the U.S. Department of Education has an obligation to protect all students, including LGBTQ students, from unlawful sex discrimination.

Although Title IX has long been understood to encompass discrimination based on a student’s failure to conform to sex-based stereotypes, neither Title IX itself nor its implementing regulations mention discrimination on the basis of a student’s sexual orientation or gender identity. On June 15, 2020 the U.S. Supreme Court held that discrimination on the basis of an individual’s status as homosexual or transgender constitutes sex discrimination within the meaning of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. See Bostock v. Clayton Cty., Ga., 140 S. Ct. 1731, 1741 (2020) (“[I]t is impossible to discrimination against a person for being homosexual or transgender without discriminating against that individual based on sex.”). OCR does not enforce Title VII and Bostock does not control the Department’s interpretation of Title IX. Nevertheless, in cases where a complaint alleges that a school’s action or policy excludes a person from participation in, denies a person the benefits of, or subjects a person to discrimination under an education program or activity, on the basis of sex, the Bostock opinion guides OCRs understanding that discrimination against a person based on their status as homosexual or transgender generally involves discrimination on the basis of their biological sex.

The resources listed below provide more information on civil rights protections for LGBTQ students, including further information on OCR’s interpretation of Title IX in light of Bostock.

Supreme Court Decisions

  • Bostock v. Clayton County, Ga., 140 S.Ct. 1731 (2020) PDF (23.30M)

Policy Guidance
Learn about different types of guidance documents, including how to comment on significant guidance. View a comprehensive list of OCR’s operative policy guidance.

  • Letter of Notification: Shelby County Schools, Case No. 04-20-1409 (Aug. 31, 2020) PDF (379.8K)
  • Revised Letter of Impending Enforcement Action: Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Association, Case No. 01-19-4025 (Aug. 31, 2020) PDF (844.1K)
  • Dear Colleague Letter: Harassment and Bullying (Oct. 26, 2010) PDF (239.4K)

Examples of OCR Cases

  • Shelby County School District (AL) (04-20-1409): Notification Letter PDF (379.8K)
  • Glastonbury Board of Education (CT) (01-19-1252): Revised Letter of Impending Enforcement Action PDF (843.6K)
  • Bloomfield Board of Education (CT) (01-20-1003): Revised Letter of Impending Enforcement Action PDF (843.6K)
  • Canton Board of Education (CT) (01-20-1004): Revised Letter of Impending Enforcement Action PDF (843.6K)
  • Cromwell School District (CT) (01-20-1005): Revised Letter of Impending Enforcement Action PDF (843.6K)
  • Danbury Board of Education (CT) (01-20-1006): Revised Letter of Impending Enforcement Action PDF (843.6K)
  • Hartford Board of Education (CT) (01-20-1007): Revised Letter of Impending Enforcement Action PDF (843.6K)

 Federal Government Resources



   
Last Modified: 09/24/2020