(San Francisco, CA, February 22, 2017)— Today, under pressure from the Department of Justice, the Department of Education announced that it will no longer enforce Title IX to protect transgender students equally in all school facilities, including restrooms. Title IX guarantees students the right to a safe and supportive learning environment regardless of gender and protects them from discrimination. From its inception, Title IX was intended to promote equity in education for all students.

In the past fifteen years, schools, courts, and federal agencies have recognized Title IX’s mandate to ensure equality for transgender students. The department’s action is contrary to many court rulings, including those of five federal appeals courts, which have held that federal sex discrimination laws protect transgender people. Today’s announcement undermines decades of effort by teachers, school administrators, students and parents to increase access to public education for all.

Statement by NCLR Executive Director Kate Kendell, Esq.:

“There is no legal basis for this shift in federal policy, which is driven by the anti-LGBTQ agenda of Vice President Pence and Attorney General Sessions. Since our founding, the National Center for Lesbian Rights has stood for the principle that every child deserves love, respect, and recognition for who they are. We have advanced this vision for 40 years, and we do not intend to let this administration’s irresponsible and cowardly actions get in the way of fighting for our youth. The laws of many states and the District of Columbia already reflect our shared commitment to making schools safer for LGBTQ youth, and numerous federal courts have agreed that Title IX protects these students as well. We will not let Jeff Sessions and Mike Pence, two of the most openly anti-LGBTQ public officials in our nation’s history, erase the gains we have made.”