During his tenure, the Department has issued guidance clarify that Title IX, the federal law that prohibits discrimination in education based on sex, protects students from discrimination based on a person’s nonconformity to sex stereotypes or gender identity. Under his leadership, the Department of Education hosted the first ever LGBT Youth Summit in 2011, where he made it clear that LGBT students have a right to meet and form Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs). He announced his support for marriage equality in May 2012.
“Through Secretary Duncan’s leadership, the Department of Education has become a trailblazer in protecting LGBT students,” said David Stacy, HRC Director of Government Affairs. “Secretary Duncan has fundamentally changed the lives of countless LGBT students. At a time when few states recognised marriage equality, Secretary Duncan sent a critical signal to teachers and school administrators that they must welcome and respect LGBT students and create a learning environment that enables all students to succeed, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Most importantly, Secretary Duncan’s work to protect transgender students will help increase the potential for transgender and gender non-conforming students to be safe at school, to stay in school, and to succeed in school.”