NAICU Washington Update

Court Temporarily Halts Enforcement of LGBTQ Guidance

July 22, 2022

A federal district court ruled in favor of 20 states that challenged Department of Education guidance regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) students. The preliminary injunction issued by the court will temporarily block enforcement of the guidance in the states that sued.

In its ruling, the court determined that the guidance, which interpreted Title IX to prohibit sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination, is procedurally defective and interferes with the states’ ability to enforce their own laws. 

Issued in 2021, the guidance should not be confused with the recent Title IX notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). Like the guidance, the NPRM would decree that Title IX prohibits sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination, but the NPRM is not final and is not currently subject to legal challenge. 

In addition to halting enforcement of the Department’s guidance, the court’s ruling temporarily blocked similar guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Like the Department’s interpretation of Title IX, the EEOC’s guidance had concluded that the prohibition against sex discrimination in employment in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act encompasses sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination. 

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