On January 8, 2021, the Department of Education (“Department”) publicly released a 13-page internal memorandum from the Department’s Office of the General Counsel to the Department’s Office for Civil Rights that sets forth an analysis of Title IX as it relates to sexual orientation and transgender status. Specifically, the memo addresses the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton Cnty., 140 S. Ct. 1731 (2020) on Title IX. Bostock held that the definition of “sex” in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, including transgender status.
The memo’s analysis focuses on 5 questions:
- Does the Bostock decision construe Title IX?
- Does Bostock affect the meaning of “sex” as that term is used in Title IX?
- How should OCR view allegations that a recipient targets individuals for discriminatory treatment on the basis of a person’s transgender status or homosexuality?
- After Bostock, how should OCR view allegations of employment discrimination or sexual harassment based on an individual’s transgender status or homosexuality?
- How does the Department interpret Title IX and its implementing regulations in light of Bostock with respect to athletics, intimate facilities, religious exemptions, and other sex-segregated programs or activities addressed under Title IX and its regulations?