CONCORD, N.H. — The Departments of Justice and Education have rescinded federal guidance interpreting Title IX’s sex discrimination provisions to prohibit discrimination against transgender students. The guidance, issued in 2016, instructed schools that allowing transgender students to use the restrooms that match their gender identity is required in order to comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. While not legally binding, the guidance was based on mounting legal precedent.
The announcement from DOJ and ED came on the same day that members of the New Hampshire House Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee voted overwhelmingly to recommend that the House of Representatives pass House Bill 478, which would update state law to explicitly prohibit discrimination against transgender residents in employment, housing and public accommodations. While HB 478 does not directly deal with schools, it does provide vital protections for transgender students in almost every other aspect of their lives.
Linds Jakows, campaign manager for Freedom New Hampshire, released the following statement regarding today’s announcement:
“The withdrawal of this federal guidance makes it more important than ever that New Hampshire lawmakers ensure transgender residents and visitors are protected from discrimination, especially our state’s young transgender people.
“Transgender students and adults want the same thing everyone wants: to contribute their talents to our great state and live freely as themselves without having to fear discrimination or bullying just because of who they are. New Hampshire values freedom and individual liberty, and today’s committee votes shows that those values remain vibrantly held. Regardless of what the federal government does, discrimination has no place in the Live Free or Die state.”
Several school districts in New Hampshire already have policies in place protecting transgender students from discrimination, including the Concord School District, Hampton School District, Oyster River Cooperative School District and Rochester Schools.
The full House is expected to debate HB 478 by early March.