June 18, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Landmark Title IX Ruling Against Pepperdine University Allows Sex Discrimination Case To Proceed

Seeking to dismiss parts of the women's lawsuit, Pepperdine argued in court papers that Title IX does not cover claims based on sexual orientation and that their allegations failed to meet the law's standard for gender stereotype discrimination.
Seeking to dismiss parts of the women’s lawsuit, Pepperdine argued in court papers that Title IX does not cover claims based on sexual orientation and that their allegations failed to meet the law’s standard for gender stereotype discrimination.

A federal judge in Los Angeles has ruled that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation falls under the purview of the landmark Title IX law, giving a broader interpretation to the 1972 statute that prohibits sex discrimination in the nation’s schools and colleges, it was reported today.

In a 22-page ruling reported on the Los Angeles Times website this morning, U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson said discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is not a separate category of discrimination but that such claims fall under Title IX’s view of discrimination on the basis of gender or sex.

The ruling allows two former players on the Pepperdine University women’s basketball team to proceed with a lawsuit that alleges the university harassed and discriminated against them because they were dating. Haley Videckis and Layana White said the coach wanted them off the team on grounds that their lesbian relationship “would cause the team to lose games,” the complaint alleged.

Seeking to dismiss parts of the women’s lawsuit, Pepperdine argued in court papers that Title IX does not cover claims based on sexual orientation and that their allegations failed to meet the law’s standard for gender stereotype discrimination.

Pregerson disagreed. He said the women could pursue their suit because the alleged maltreatment turned on the nature of each individual’s sex in the same-sex relationship, The Times reported.

“Plaintiffs allege that they were told that ‘lesbianism’ would not be tolerated on the team,” Pregerson wrote. “If plaintiffs had been males dating females, instead of females dating females, they would not have been subjected to the alleged different treatment,” he said, concluding that the pair have a “straightforward claim of sex discrimination.”

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