The Biden administration is trying to expand Title IX protections

The Biden administration on Thursday proposed a dramatic overhaul of campus sexual assault rules to expand protections for LGBTQ students, strengthen victims’ rights and expand college responsibilities in addressing sexual misconduct.

The proposal, announced to mark the 50th anniversary of Title IX Women’s Rights Act, is intended to replace a set of controversial rules enacted by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos during the Trump administration.

President Joe Biden’s Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona, said Title IX has been “instrumental” in addressing sexual assault and violence in education.

“As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of this landmark law, our proposed changes will allow us to continue that progress and ensure that all of our nation’s students—no matter where they live, who they are, or who they love—learn, grow and be in be successful at school,” he said.

The proposal will almost certainly be contested by conservatives and is expected to spark new litigation over the rights of transgender students in schools, particularly in sport. It now faces a public feedback period before the Biden administration can finalize changes, meaning the policy is unlikely to come into effect until next year at the earliest.

Graphic shows state laws governing transgender youth participation in sports; 3c x 3 1/4 inAssociated Press

The move comes in response to a call from victims’ rights advocates, who wanted Biden to release new rules banning sex discrimination in schools and colleges no later than the anniversary of Title IX. Proponents say DeVos’ rules have gone too far in protecting students accused of sexual misconduct, at the expense of the victims.

As a presidential candidate, Biden had promised a quick end to DeVos’ rules, saying they would “shame and silence survivors.”

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