Alerts & Actions

Comment Guide: Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Sex in Education Programs or Activities Receiving Federal Financial Assistance

Take Action to Protect Transgender People’s Access to Education and Sports!

A quick overview

The U.S. Education Department is suggesting a rule change that would amend Title IX’s nondiscrimination mandate to include all schools that receive federal funding. Anti-LGBTQ+ operatives are organizing to flood public comments rejecting this change. MHRN supports this change, which would go a long way to supporting LGBTQ+ students at school.

We need you to leave a comment by September 12 in support of this rule change and efforts to reduce discrimination in all schools that receive taxpayer funding. To leave a comment, please go to this link, click the green button, and write a message. If you need help writing your comment, see suggested talking points below.

Please keep in mind that all comments will be part of the official record. Speak your mind but be aware that all personal information in your statement will be part of the public record.

The full story

Since Title IX became law in 1972, it has transformed women’s access to education, sports, and more. Today, Title IX is recognized as a
landmark gender equality law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in any school or any other education program that receives funding from the federal government. A new rule proposed for the Department of Education would expand Title IX’s scope to include the prohibition against discrimination based on “sex” to include “sex stereotypes, sex-related characteristics (including intersex traits), pregnancy or related conditions, sexual orientation, and gender identity.”

In doing so, the new rule makes major strides towards protecting access to education, athletics, and other opportunities for transgender, nonbinary, Two Spirit, and gender diverse individuals. Once finalized, regulations carry the power of law. This is a timely and crucial update. For the past few years, we have been monitoring attempts by several anti-LGBTQ+ organizations to legalize discrimination in many forms, but especially against transgender youth.

The rule, if finalized, will provide an essential protection for transgender athletes, especially those living in states that bar transgender women from competing in women’s sports. In 2021, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte signed HB 112, banning transgender women from participating in sports. HB 112 was passed by the legislature despite opposition from the LGBTQ+ community, the Montana University System, and the Montana Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Opposition to this policy is being coordinated by conservative politicians, Christian-right groups, and anti-LGBTQ groups. We must respond in turn by mobilizing allies, friends, and neighbors in support of the rule. Defend transgender rights today by submitting a comment today!

The U.S. Department of Education is accepting public comment until September 12. Please go to their website and leave a comment online using instructions above.

What should I say in my public comment?

Here are some tips for giving a powerful public comment. First, make your position on the rule change obvious. Begin your statement by stating your name, where you live, and that you are strongly in support of the proposed rule change. From there you can elaborate on why you support the rule change.

If you feel overwhelmed or too busy to write something personal, you can simply say, “I support the rule change and recommend its implementation.”

The most powerful form of public comment is personal testimony, which can be just a few sentences! We know it can be difficult to know what to say so we have provided some talking points for anyone who wants to support transgender Montanans:

  • Public schools have always been equalizers for any and all youth across America to access education that will help them succeed far into the future. We need to continue this legacy of equality for children today.

  • The attacks against transgender and nonbinary youth in America are deliberate and unwarranted. Access to school activities and services for these students should not depend on which state they live in.

  • Discrimination against trans and nonbinary youth is soundly rejected by educators, parents, medical professionals, and health care professionals. There is no legitimate reason for publicly-funded institutions to normalize discrimination and cruelty toward these students.

  • America cannot succeed if publicly-funded schools reject students who already face bullying and discrimination in other areas of their lives.

  • The Supreme Court decided in June 2020 that Title VII of the Civil Rights Acts prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity. It is time that students are protected from similar discrimination.

  • The Trevor Project focuses on suicide prevention for LGBTQ+ young people. They released a study in 2021 which found that acceptance of one’s gender identity from adults and peers was associated with significantly lower odds of attempting suicide. Trusted adults at school can make a difference.

Have any questions? Reach out to and we’ll get right back to you.