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Office for Civil Rights (OCR)

OCR ensures that recipients of financial assistance from OJP, OVW, and COPS comply with Federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment and delivery of services or benefits based on race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, and disability.
About OCR
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All persons should receive equal treatment under the law, no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation. The documents below constitute examples of guidance from the President and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) that outline the protections provided in law against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and intersex traits in light of the Supreme Court’s holding in Bostock v. Clayton County, 140 S.Ct. 1731, 590 U.S. ___ (2020), that the prohibition on discrimination “because of . . . sex” under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., covers discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation.

This guidance establishes that the sex discrimination prohibitions of the following laws enforced by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and intersex traits:

  • Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (20 U.S.C. § 1681, et seq.)
  • The Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (34 U.S.C. § 10101, et seq.)
  • The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974 (34 U.S.C. § 11101, et seq.)
  • The Victims of Crime Act of 1984 (34 U.S.C. § 20101, et seq.)
  • The Violence Against Women Act (34 U.S.C. § 12291(b)(13) )

The OCR enforces the preceding laws, which prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, including sexual orientation, gender identity, and intersex traits. (The nondiscrimination provision in the Violence Against Women Act, which pre-dates Bostock, also explicitly references sexual orientation and gender identity as separate protected classes.) Any person that believes they have been discriminated against by a recipient of Federal financial assistance from the DOJ on the basis of sex, including sexual orientation, gender identity, or intersex traits, may file a complaint with the OCR. The OCR recommends including the following information when filing your complaint:

  1. Your name and contact information, including a phone number and email address, if available, and, if different, the name and contact information of the person or persons who experienced the discrimination;
  2. The name and address of the entity that allegedly discriminated;
  3. The exact date when the alleged discrimination took place or was discovered;
  4. A detailed description of the alleged discrimination and why you believe it was based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or intersex traits;
  5. A list of any people whom we might contact for additional information to support or clarify your complaint; and
  6. Copies of records or any other documentary evidence.

Potential complainants are encouraged to review the documents above and can find more information about filing a complaint here.  Complaints should be submitted to the Office for Civil Rights at:

Office for Civil Rights
Office of Justice Programs
U.S. Department of Justice
810 Seventh Street NW
Washington, DC 20531

Date Created: June 2, 2023