New regulations expanding the scope of Title IX will enter into force in August

In a recent article published by the Congressional Research Service, it was announced that the new Title IX regulations will go into effect in August of this year. Title IX is an amendment to civil rights legislation that prohibits educational programs receiving federal funds from discriminating on the basis of sex.

The amended act expands the scope of discrimination based on gender, including sexual orientation and gender identity.

According to the newspaper, the updated regulations result from a 2020 Supreme Court ruling that stated that “an employer cannot discriminate against employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity without taking into account their gender.” Although the court did not describe how its reasoning could be applied to issues such as bathroom and locker room access, subsequent appellate courts have sought to clarify how the ruling could be applied to these matters.

Despite the availability of new regulations, issues regarding their practical application remain unresolved. One area of ​​uncertainty is how the guidance will interact with “statutory and regulatory exceptions that expressly allow differential treatment on the basis of sex.” These exceptions, which allow activities such as creating different sports programs and gender-specific bathrooms as long as they cause minimal harm, could significantly impact educational programs.

One area that will be affected by these new regulations is gender-separated bathrooms and locker rooms. According to the article, “denying transgender students access to segregated activities or facilities (such as a bathroom or locker room) consistent with their gender identity would be a violation of the statute….”

On the same topic, the guidance “also cautions that requiring students to undergo ‘invasive medical examinations or burdensome documentation requirements’ to participate in activities consistent with their gender identity causes more than de minimis harm.”

The article also presents Congress with a roadmap for potential new applications of the guidelines. To read the entire text, click Here.