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Biden’s New Title IX Rules Uphold LGBTQ+ Rights, Strengthen Campus Assault Protections

The Biden administration has finalized new rules that solidify the rights of LGBTQ+ students and enhance the protection of victims of campus sexual assault under federal law. 

These regulations are part of a revised Title IX policy issued by the Education Department, which marks a significant shift from the policies implemented during the tenure of former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

President Joe Biden has fulfilled his campaign promise by dismantling the rules instituted by DeVos, which added protections for students accused of sexual misconduct. 

The new policy, however, lacks explicit mention of transgender athletes, a provision that was initially planned but postponed, likely due to political considerations amidst increasing debates over transgender participation in sports.

Credits: DepositPhotos

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The sexual assault rules implemented by former President Donald Trump have been effectively reversed by the recently finalized policy. 

This move has been applauded by advocates of victims, but it has also drawn criticism from Republicans who believe that it undermines the rights of accused students.

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona emphasized the importance of ensuring safe and inclusive school environments for all students, stating that the new rules make it clear that everyone is entitled to access schools that respect their rights and provide protection against bullying and discrimination based on identity or sexual orientation.

Credits: DepositPhotos

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The update to Title IX, originally enacted in 1972 to prohibit sex discrimination in education, extends protections to LGBTQ+ students by explicitly forbidding discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. 

This inclusion has sparked controversy, with Republicans arguing that such protections were not intended under the original law.

Despite opposition, the new regulation is set to take effect in August and aims to clarify schools’ obligations under Title IX, particularly regarding sexual misconduct.

Key changes include a broader definition of sexual harassment, requiring schools to address any unwelcome sex-based conduct that significantly impacts a student’s access to education. 

Credits: DepositPhotos

Additionally, colleges will no longer be mandated to hold live hearings for cross-examination, a provision under the DeVos rules that faced criticism from victims’ advocates.

While the focus remains on safeguarding victims, the new rules also preserve certain protections for accused students, ensuring equal access to evidence, witnesses, and appeals processes.

The implementation of these changes comes after years of political and legal battles surrounding campus sexual misconduct policies, indicating a continued effort to strike a balance between protecting victims and upholding the rights of the accused in educational settings.

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