Human Rights Campaign: Ohio Board of Education’s Vote to Reject Federal Title IX Protections is a Shameful Attack on LGBTQ+ Youth

by HRC Staff

Columbus, OH — Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, condemned the Ohio State Board of Education for its vote taking aim at the protection, privacy, livelihood, and well-being of LGBTQ+ students throughout the state. In a 10-7 vote, the Board chose to resist the enforcement of the Biden Administration’s updated Title IX anti-discrimination guidelines designed to preserve the rights of transgender students.

Human Rights Campaign Legal Director Sarah Warbelow released the following statement:

“With its disgraceful vote today, the Ohio Board of Education made it clear that its commitment to the excellence and empowerment of all students is purely conditional. They’ve done this by falsely asserting that youth who are LGBTQ+, especially transgender students, do not have the same rights to thrive and succeed as do their peers. Queer youth are already at a heightened risk for experiencing stigma, shame, and isolation, especially as political extremists are turning the dial up on anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric and violence. The Board’s decision will only further intensify the stigma many live through everyday. These adults have a duty to protect Ohio children, yet turning their backs on them to extend a radical, nakedly political agenda into the classroom fails to confront the real issues that schools in the state are facing.”

HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow

The updated Title IX protections were proposed by the U.S. Department of Education in June, adding sexual orientation and gender identity as enumerated protected characteristics. Polling shows that the public supports nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people, and this rule change is geared toward making the will of the people a reality. Numerous federal courts have found that discrimination on the basis of sex includes discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, including in Title IX. This includes decisions from federal courts that it is a violation of Title IX to exclude transgender students from restrooms, locker rooms, and sex-separated programs and activities, including athletics, consistent with their gender identity.

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