12 states ban together to fight Obama’s order on transgender bathroom use in schools
The fight for transgender kids use of the correct bathroom in schools hasn’t been an easy one, even with the Obama administration ordering the Department of Education to follow medical standards and allow them to use the restroom aligned with their gender identity.
Today, 12 states, lead by Texas, are suing the department of ed over the new policy and today argued in court to block the order passed down by Obama. Those against the policy and cosigned on the lawsuit include Harrold Independent School District in Texas; the Arizona Department of Education; the Heber-Overgaard Unified School District in Arizona; Wisconsin; Maine Governor Paul LePage; Kentucky; Mississippi; Oklahoma; Louisiana; Alabama; Georgia; Tennessee; West Virginia; and Utah.
All the plaintiffs say the new policy violates other student’s privacy and endangers them from predators.
“This President is attempting to rewrite the laws that were enacted by the elected representatives of the people, and is using the threat of losing federal funding to get schools to fall into line,” said Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton who is leading the legal fight against Obama and the Department of Ed. ”That cannot be allowed to continue.”
Meanwhile, medical professionals agree that trans kids, who already suffer from some of the highest suicide rates in the country, should be allowed to use the restroom aligned with their gender identity and concerns about abuse of the system are overblown. check out more from medical professionals by HRC below:
Here in Richmond, LGBTQ youth advocates like Ted Lewis at ROSMY have been fighting for trans kids bathrroom rights for some time. His group agreed with the new regulations saying “it’s always best to do whats in the best interest of the child.”
“We feel like honoring a child’s gender identity is what’s best and that includes allowing them to participate in line with their gender identity,” Lewis told GayRVA when the regulations were released.
This policy, according to Lewis, lines up with a Department of Justice announcement made back in 2014 which already reaffirmed transgender protections under the “sex” clause in title IX. But rather than the 2014 statement saying “you can’t discriminate,” the new guidance is specific in details with advice for uninformed educators.
Meanwhile, down in Texas, pushback against the move from the group of conservative lawmakers and states is present.
“Texas and 12 other states, governors of states and political jurisdictions have filed a meritless lawsuit against multiple federal agencies seeking to preserve the ability to discriminate against a highly vulnerable population – transgender elementary and high school students and transgender employees,” said members of Lambda Legal; American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and ACLU of Texas; Transgender Law Center; National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR); and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) in a joint statement released after today’s hearing.
“We are urging this court to protect transgender students and workers and allow them to enjoy a safe and discrimination-free education and workplace. We filed an amicus brief in this case because we oppose the efforts of state officials to manipulate the federal court system in order to skirt well-established law in their home circuits that affirms and respects the rights of transgender students and employees. We urge the court to deny the states’ request for a preliminary injunction.”
Virginia has its own horse in the race as the case of Gavin Grimm, a 16-year-old transgender student is currently suing the Gloucester County School board after they enacted a policy which forced him in the the girls room, aligning with his birth gender, not his gender identity.
Things were boding well for Grimm and the ACLU and Lambda Legal teams representing him until the Supreme Court denied a stay on the policy last month. Now, as Grimm prepares to return to school, he’ll have to use the girls restroom and lorckerrooms or a bathroom in the nurses office which he believes unfairly stigmatizes him.
“We are disappointed that the Court has issued a stay and that Gavin will have to begin another school year isolated from his peers and stigmatized by the Gloucester County School Board just because he’s a boy who is transgender,” said a statement on the ACLU’s website after the SCOTUS announcement was made. The battle for Grimm started over a year ago and wont see its actual first day of court until January of next year.
“We remain hopeful that Gavin will ultimately prevail,” stressed the VA ACLU. If Grimm does win his fight, it would be a landmark victory for trans youth around the country, but the Supreme Court’s recent ruling has put all of that into question.
The North Carolina governor cited costs of litigation, noting that his state is also the defendant in a lawsuit filed against him by the Dept. of Justice on similar grounds.September 19, 2016
- ACLU asks Supreme Court NOT to hear Gloucester County’s bathroom case, September 14, 2016
- Rural VA county school board’s “biological sex” based bathroom bill faces local opposition, August 16, 2016
- Supreme Court sides with Gloucester County, blocks trans student from using correct bathroom, August 3, 2016
- Prev Sistah Sinema to screen ‘Saving Face’ at Capital Ale House 8/21
- Next Poll: North Carolina anti-trans bathroom law continues to be overwhelmingly unpopular
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