Barack Obama | Bullying | Discrimination | New York | News

Justice Dept Makes Rare Intervention in Gay Rights Bullying Case

NPR reports on the case of a gay Mohawk, NY teen and his father, who with the New York Civil Liberties Union sued the teen's high school after it refused to take action following repeated bullying from classmates. In "a novel interpretation of the Title IX statute, which prohibits discrimination against students on the basis of gender", the Obama administration has gotten involved:

Now the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division has asked a judge for permission to intervene on Jacob's behalf.

"We haven't seen this kind of involvement in quite some time," says Hayley Gorenberg of Lambda Legal, a national gay rights legal organization. "It's a long time coming, and we really need it."

Republicans who worked in the Civil Rights Division under previous administrations agree that this is a case conservatives generally would not make.

The Justice Department's argument hinges on a broad reading of the law known as Title IX. Title IX is typically used to protect students from gender discrimination, but in this case, Obama administration lawyers argue that the law also covers discrimination based on gender stereotypes — that is to say, boys who are beaten up for being effeminate.

Gay and lesbian advocates hope the intervention will clarify some of the more gray areas with regard to gender expression and sexual orientation in Title IX.

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Comments

  1. Obviously there's no difference between Democrats and Republicans on gay rights.

    Posted by: Kevinvt | Jan 18, 2010 12:11:23 PM


  2. It still dumbfounds me how many people still think that bullying is some rite of passage, that if removed would rock the foundations of society.

    Then they wonder why the kids who had been bullied come to school with guns and shoot people. (see:Colombine)

    Posted by: Chris | Jan 18, 2010 12:23:12 PM


  3. Sadly, I note how few comments there are in this thread. The Obama Administration does something right on gay rights and there is hardly a word. Sure there is much more that needs to be done but you should be able to acknowledge progress.

    Posted by: Sam | Jan 18, 2010 2:26:30 PM


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