Trump-appointed judge blocks expansion of Title IX rights for LGBTQ+ students

Joe Biden, pictured.

A judge, appointed by Donald Trump, has temporarily blocked amendments to Title IX that would expand protections for LGBTQ+ students.

US district judge Terry Doughty issued a preliminary injunction on Thursday (13 June) that temporarily blocked an amendment to the anti-discrimination law which would add safeguards for LGBTQ+ students facing harassment at school and in colleges.

The expansions were finalised in April after being proposed in 2022, cementing protections for LGBTQ+ students into federal law.

In his ruling, Doughty called the expansion an “abuse of power” and a “threat to democracy,” adding that he believed it violated free-speech laws.

“The court finds that the term ‘sex discrimination’ only included discrimination against biological males and females at the time of enactment,” he said.

The injunction only blocks the expansion in Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana and Idaho – all states which have imposed anti-LGBTQ+ laws.

You may like to watch

Protestors at a trans event.
The Title IX expansion would have protected LGBTQ+ students from harassment. (Getty)

The ruling is just one of several lawsuits against the Title IX expansions. A total of 26 states, as well as several counties, school districts, organisations and private citizens, have challenged the amendment.

The decision represents a “dangerous goal of weaving discrimination into law”, Kelley Robinson, the president of the Human Rights Campaign, said.

“Every student in Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana and Idaho deserves to be safe. Every young person deserves protection from bullying, misgendering and abuse. Today’s decision prioritises anti-LGBTQ+ hate over the safety and well-being of students,” she added.

“HRC will continue to mobilise communities and work to make sure that all students are protected under law.”

Under the injunction, the Department of Education will be unable to enforce Title IX’s new protections in the selected states, meaning that its new non-discrimination rules are effectively void.

Bob Eitel, the president of the right-wing Defense of Freedom Institute (DFI), which is bringing six other legal challenges, said he was confident that other courts will follow suit.

“We are pleased that the court has granted the motion for preliminary injunction filed by DFI’s clients and that the court has preliminarily enjoined the Education Department from enforcing these odious rules,” he said.

Please login or register to comment on this story.