Title IX is a federal law that prohibits gender discrimination in higher education. It's an expansive law that covers a host of gender-related issues that create a hostile educational environment, like a disparity in athletic opportunities, inequitable admission, sexual harassment, and sexual violence.
In recent years, there's been a need to extend the provisions of this law to protect a vulnerable demographic of students that desperately need coverage. LGBTQ+ students are subjected to discrimination, particularly sexual misconduct, at drastically higher rates than their non-queer counterparts.
The topic of LGBTQ+ students as victims of discrimination is one that has been explored numerous times. But it's rare that people generate conversations surrounding what happens to LGBTQ+ respondents when they're falsely accused of sexual misconduct. Existing in a demographic that is already incredibly marginalized while simultaneously being branded a perpetrator of any kind of sexual violence can be devastating for queer respondents. There is already an unshakeable stigma that plagues respondents. Before one can even prove their innocence, society projects a premature judgment onto respondents that will cause some people to treat them poorly.
Many LGBTQ+ students struggle to gain acceptance on college campuses in the first place. With these allegations attached to their name, the small community they once found refuge in may reject them, further isolating them. Not to mention that they're less likely to garner any type of sympathy due to society's perpetuation of stereotypes and false characterizations of their sexuality. To many, LGBTQ+ people are perceived as over-sexualized and impulsive with uncontrollable sexual urges. When people start to believe these stereotypes, it creates an even more dangerous environment for queer respondents who are already prone to being bullied and minimizes the likelihood of people believing their side of the story.
Unfortunately, innocent LGBTQ+ respondents often times aren't afforded any source of support. It's not unusual for their own family and friends, who may or may not secretly harbor feelings of prejudice, to question their innocence. This is why if you are a queer respondent, you absolutely need the legal guidance of a student defense attorney.
Your Rights as a Respondent
If you have been accused of sexual misconduct on a college campus, you are afforded several rights under Title IX:
- The right to receive notice of the charges brought against you
- The right to hear a description of the university's evidence against you
- The right to present your account of events to an impartial panel
- The right to have your case heard under standard procedures used for all similar cases
- The right to student services (like counseling)
- The right to have an attorney present during a hearing
Retaining an attorney during the Title IX process is the only way to ensure your rights are protected and ensure that the process remains fair.
Student Defense Attorney Helping Clients in Pennsylvania
If you are an LGBTQ+ student whose been accused of sexual misconduct in Pennsylvania, it may seem like you're in the Title IX process alone. But you can retain an advocate who will be on your side, regardless of your sexual orientation or gender identity. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has dedicated his entire life to helping students of all demographics put up a fight when falsely accused of sexual misconduct. He'll help you gather facts, testify, and gain an understanding of your school's policies and processes so you have a fighting chance. Contact him today at 888-535-3686.
Pennsylvania colleges and universities where Joseph D. Lento can help as your or your gay or lesbian student's Title IX advisor during investigations, hearings, and appeals include, but are not limited to, the following schools:
Approximately 10% of college students in the United States identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, or questioning according to studies and LGBTQ+ students should not feel alone when accused of sexual misconduct. As importantly, they should they not face such burdens alone or without the necessary support and guidance.
The reason LGBTQ+ students should not go through the Title IX process alone is because, as with all students accused of sexual misconduct, Title IX allegations and charges can change an accused student's life if not defended against properly and as early as possible during the disciplinary process. It is critical to have a dedicated and experienced advocate when facing a challenge in life and Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience passionately fighting for the future of LGBTQ+ students at universities and colleges throughout the nation. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead, prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. Joseph Lento is a licensed attorney in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, and serves as a Title IX advisor to students facing Title IX and disciplinary cases in Pennsylvania and throughout the nation. Make certain your or your student's interests are protected - Contact Pennsylvania Title IX attorney Joseph D. Lento today at 888-535-3686.