Title IX accusations happen frequently. While victims of these violations absolutely deserve their day in court, all too often, these claims are made because of a misunderstanding or other grievance that doesn't rise to the severity required under Title IX. Knowing when that line has been crossed is difficult, and it's not getting any easier.
In particular, there's growing concern among LGBTQ+ activists that faith-based schools are afforded too much protection under Title IX religious exemptions. Notably, these exemptions do not bar an accusation of sex-based discrimination in the traditional sense.
Under Title IX, sex-based discrimination has been understood across the board to include:
- Sexual Assault
- Sexual Harassment
What is less clear, though, are the claims of discrimination based on sexual identity and orientation brought at faith-based schools that receive federal funding. These schools are required to comport with Title IX rules, but they are also allowed to assert religious exemptions as a defense to accusations. Historically, religious exemptions almost always overcome a Title IX accusation, but there's an unprecedented shift that could mean religious exemptions will prove less protective going forward.
There are several moving parts to consider; for example, having Democrats in the White House certainly means more left-leaning policies, but to what extent? For now, it's important to note that the U.S. Department of Justice has indicated its intent to robustly defend religious exemptions in the recently brought class-action lawsuit, Hunter v. U.S. Department of Education.
Faith-Based Defenses Against Title IX Accusations
Generally, the federal government and adjudicating bodies give a broad interpretation of exemptions claimed by faith-based schools. Still, hardly a week goes by where we don't see a news story covering disputes arising from transgender athlete issues or bathroom controversies. As public sentiments shift, so might the application of religious exemptions.
However you feel about these political changes, one thing is clear. You need competent legal defense when you've been accused of a Title IX violation at a faith-based school that receives federal funding.
Why You Need a Title IX Student Defense Attorney
Title IX defense is nuanced and incredibly important. Failure to adequately defend yourself or a loved one against a Title IX violation can result in suspension or expulsion. You could lose scholarships and resumé building opportunities, not to mention your reputation. It's difficult to articulate just how much is at stake even when you feel you were acting within the tenets of your faith.
In addition to the critical stakes, you also need to know that Title IX defense is complicated. Often, the proceedings are handled administratively, and so you need an attorney who has vast experience with that type of adjudication. Still, there appears to be a growing trend to take these matters to federal court, so you also need legal representation that will help you navigate that process. Joseph D. Lento has years of experience advocating for the accused in Title IX proceedings in both arenas. To learn how Mr. Lento will fight for you, call 888-535-3686 today.