Washington, D.C. – AUF Senior Advisor Tyler Deaton responded to the administration’s actions on February 22, 2017, to suspend enforcement of Title IX’s federal civil rights protections for LGBTQ students nationwide:
President Trump promised to protect the LGBTQ community. As recently as January 31, he said he was “respectful and supportive of LGBTQ rights” and would “protect the community from violence and oppression.”
The Republican Party has a history of fighting for, securing, and safeguarding civil rights – including when states have attempted to flout federal civil rights protections. But due to the administration’s actions, LGBTQ children could face bullying, harassment, and discrimination with no enforcement of their rights under Title IX from the Department of Justice.
Transgender students face disproportionate harassment in schools. The 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey found that more than three-quarters of transgender K-12 respondents had one or more negative experiences, including more than half – fifty-four percent – who were verbally harassed and twenty-four percent who were physically attacked. Seventeen percent were bullied to the point of leaving their school.
As conservatives and advocates for LGBTQ freedom, we implore the administration to reverse course immediately and resume its enforcement of Title IX’s legal protections for LGBTQ students. This will give the administration the opportunity to correct some of the missteps of the Obama administration, which failed to issue its guidance with proper notice and comment.
Ultimately, Congress needs to deliver comprehensive nondiscrimination legislation to President Trump that strikes the right balance between religious liberty and LGBTQ freedom, settling these questions explicitly and putting an end to legal LGBTQ discrimination once and for all.