Out Leadership statement on Education Department’s discriminatory actions harming transgender students

New York, N.Y. – Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Education rescinded the Obama administration’s 2016 Title IX guidance clarifying the rights of transgender students.

In response, the CEO of our partner organization Lambda Legal, Rachel Tiven, issued a statement:

“Trump’s actions do not change the law itself — transgender students remain protected by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972—but abandoning the guidance intentionally creates confusion about what federal law requires,” Tiven said. “The law bars discrimination – the new administration invites it.”

Out Leadership Founder & Principal Todd Sears has issued a statement in support of the actions that our partner organizations, including Lambda Legal, are taking to protect transgender students:

“Out Leadership has not historically weighed in on questions of education policy. But in the face of such a mean-spirited shift in the wrong direction – one which will, we have no doubt, cause harm to some of the most vulnerable children in America – we must make an exception.”

“At our Summit in the U.S. last year, we heard from Alaina Kupec – a trans woman who is an employee of an inclusive Fortune 100 company and a resident of North Carolina.” Sears continued. “Alaina spoke about her personal experience of North Carolina’s HB2, noting that national calls to trans suicide prevention hotlines more than doubled in the month after the law passed.”

“As Alaina observed, this is truly a life or death issue,” Sears concluded. “Just as the Department of Education’s action’s will harm transgender students today, it will also harm global businesses’ ability to draw on a diversity of experiences and perspectives to compete tomorrow. The negative ramifications of this discriminatory action, just like those of HB2, will be felt for many years to come. And so we stand in solidarity with our partners at Lambda Legal, the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, GLSEN, and elsewhere, who are leading the fight against this dangerous step backwards.”