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Idaho sues federal government over new title IX protections for LGBTQ+ students, employees

Office of Rep. Raul Labrador
Office of Rep. Raul Labrador

Idaho is joining a lawsuit challenging the inclusion of LGBTQ+ students in federal protection mandates.

In April, the Department of Education released a new version of Title IX, a 1972 law prohibiting schools receiving federal funding from discriminating against employees and students on the basis of sex. It now also includes protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

“These final regulations clarify Title IX’s requirement that schools promptly and effectively address all forms of sex discrimination,” Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine Lhamon said in a press release.

On Monday, Mississippi, Louisiana, Montana and Idaho filed a joint complaint challenging the inclusion of these protections. In a press release, Idaho Attorney General Raúl Labrador wrote the new language threatens “decades of progress and opportunities for our females, while also subjecting them to the indignity of exposure to males in their locker rooms and bathrooms,” in an apparent reference to transgender individuals.

The federal requirements appear to conflict with Idaho’s law prohibiting transgender students from using the bathroom of their preferred gender, currently under injunction.

In early April, Gov. Brad Little also signed into law a bill preventing schools from requiring teachers from using students’ preferred pronouns.

In a statement released Tuesday, Idaho Superintendent Debbie Critchfield said she supported the lawsuit and had concerns about implementing the new regulation.

The new Title IX rule is set to go into effect on August 1.

I joined Boise State Public Radio in 2022 as the Canyon County reporter through Report for America, to report on the growing Latino community in Idaho. I am very invested in listening to people’s different perspectives and I am very grateful to those who are willing to share their stories with me. It’s a privilege and I do not take it for granted.

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