FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 23, 2022
REAP Condemns Biden Education Department’s Failure to Rescind Trump-Era Expansion of Title IX Religious Exemption
Today, on the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the U.S. Department of Education announced a proposed rulemaking that would expand protections for LGBTQ+ students and survivors of sexual assault at some educational institutions that received federal taxpayer assistance. However, the Biden administration failed to propose any rules to rescind the Trump-Era expansion of the Title IX religious exemption that allows hundreds of taxpayer-funded religious colleges (like BYU, Baylor and Liberty) to openly discriminate against tens of thousands of LGBTQ+ students. The Biden administration continues the Trump policy of allowing religious taxpayer-funded educational institutions to not only receive licenses from our government to discriminate, but to do so retroactively and without notice.
Advocates, including those at REAP, Know Your IX and the National Women’s Law Center, requested that the Biden Administration, at a minimum, use this proposed rulemaking to restore a notice requirement that would require a taxpayer-funded college to publicly notify the government and potential students of their intent to disregard Title IX and discriminate against LGBTQ+ students. Trump removed this notice requirement from then-existing regulations. Biden could easily have restored it. However, the Biden administration, likely out of fear of the Religious Right and election concerns, chose to ignore the cries for help of thousands of young queer, trans and non-binary students who are being expelled, disciplined, denied housing, sent to conversion therapy, forced into hiding, and harassed because of their identities, all financed by our taxpayer dollars.
Biden’s continuation of Trump’s expansion of Title IX’s religious exemption allows taxpayer-funded colleges to adopt policies, like the Liberty University policy that was just reported on today, that punish students for “statements and behaviors that are associated with LGBT states of mind.”
REAP condemns the Biden Administration’s failure to acknowledge the needs of some of the most vulnerable LGBTQ+ people in America, LGBTQ+ students caught in the trap of taxpayer-funded religious educational institutions that betray their safety and dignity while receiving a handshake, a wink and a nod, and billions of dollars from the federal government.