Texans Speak Out Against Paxton’s Lawsuit & Abbott’s Order Attacking Federal Civil Rights Protections for LGBTQIA+ Students

The Texas AG and Texas Governor made moves to undercut new federal civil rights protections for LGBTQIA+ students

April 29, 2024

Johnathan Gooch, Equality Texas, [email protected]
Imelda Mejia, TFN, [email protected]

Austin, TX – This morning Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton, announced that he is suing the Department of Education over updates to the Title IX regulations. Title IX is a federal civil rights law designed to protect students in public schools from discrimination. Updates from the Department of Education follow Supreme Court precedent about how to interpret language in civil rights legislation. The updates now explicitly include protections for sexual orientation and gender identity.

Shortly after news of the Attorney General’s suit broke, the Texas Governor weighed in, instructing the Texas Education Agency to ignore the updated Title IX regulations.

Statement from Ricardo Martinez, CEO of Equality Texas:

“Paxton literally wants to delete whole groups of people from the minimum federal non-discrimination protections. Texans know better than most that this country truly is a melting pot. Every day we come into contact with people who live, work, and pray differently than we do. Civil rights laws create a baseline of respect for our fellow Texans that allows us to peacefully exist with our neighbors.

“Paxton and Abbot want to ignore and undermine federal protections designed to safeguard students and families, including LGBTQIA+ students, survivors of sexual assault, and pregnant students. These kids deserve safe spaces and support”

Statement from Carisa Lopez, Deputy Direct, Texas Freedom Network:

“Gov. Abbott’s order undermines protections for LGBTQIA+ students and uses our public schools as a political battleground. Title IX is intended to prevent discrimination and ensure all students have equal access to education regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.

“It’s a shame to all Texans to see our attorney general sue the Biden administration for expanded protections under Title IX. Paxton claims he is suing to ‘protect women,’ yet he has actively worked to strip women and people who can give birth of their reproductive freedoms and right to make personal medical decisions about their own bodies. Paxton’s hypocritical actions demonstrate his disregard for women’s equality and autonomy. True advocacy for women’s rights means defending their access to healthcare, not using Title IX as an excuse to discriminate against LGBTQIA+ students.”