By Hilary White

WASHINGTON, January 19, 2010 ( – The Obama administration’s Justice Department (DoJ) has intervened directly in a civil suit launched by the ACLU on behalf of a homosexual teenager alleging his school discriminated against him based on his “sexual orientation.” Citing the Title IX amendment to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the DoJ is arguing that the protections in the law against sex discrimination apply to “gender identity,” and therefore protect homosexuals.

The DoJ said it has “authority to intervene to seek relief from denials of equal protection if the matter is certified as a matter of general public importance.” NPR’s Ari Shapiro noted that the DoJ intervention has been welcomed by homosexualist activists, who “see it as a bold statement about the Obama administration's priorities.”

Hayley Gorenberg of Lambda Legal told Main Justice: “There were before the Bush administration committees as well as individuals who had done significant work aimed towards the protection of LGBT people and their civil rights, and for years that has just laid fallow, and those efforts have been dormant. It is really exciting to see them come back to life, and this is an example.”

Title IX states, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”

The case involves a homosexual high school student who alleges he was harassed by schoolmates for being “effeminate.” The fifteen year old, who is identified only as “Jacob,” with the help of the ACLU, is suing the Mohawk Central School District in upstate New York. The suit alleges that school officials “did not appropriately respond to relentless harassment, physical abuse and threats of violence” because of Jacob’s “sexual orientation.”

Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, which filed the suit on Jacob's behalf, welcomed the DoJ intervention calling it “a very significant development.”

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