White House: States Can Discriminate Against Transgender Students

It was a rule the Trump team hinted at repealing once they were in the White House, according to Business Insider, with Vice President Mike Pence telling a radio host in October, "The transgender bathroom issue can be resolved with common sense at the local level". Sean Spicer on Tuesday told reporters the president would be "addressing" an Obama administration directive that said transgender students have the right to use bathrooms and locker rooms that align with their gender identity.

Spicer indicated that President Trump will support discriminatory action against transgender students despite the White House in January boasting that Trump was an ally for upholding a handful of LGBTQ protections.

"All you have to do is look at what the president's view has been for a long time, that this is not something that the federal government should be involved in, that this is a states' rights issue", Spicer said, adding that the Justice and Education departments would have "further guidance" at an unspecified time. "This is a states' rights issue". "Full stop", said Rachel Tiven, chief executive of Lambda Legal, which defends lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

According to the Washington Blade, the plan approved by the president would withdraw the former advice, and schools would receive a letter from the Justice and Education departments confirming former guidelines concerning transgender bathroom rules have been abandoned.

The guidance was legally challenged last summer and the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Texas issued an injunction in August 2016.

"This is the first day of the President's second month in office and he is now fully coming after LGBT people", the National Center for Transgender Equality's Mara Keisling told the Blade. "I'm angry; I'm outraged". A federal judge put the guidance on hold previous year while he considered one of those cases, and the federal interpretation of Title IX is also at the center of a case due before the Supreme Court in March. "Should the Administration rescind the guidance, trans students would still be protected under Title IX".

Although the Justice Department had appealed part of that decision to a higher court when Obama was in the White House, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions took a different tack two days after after he was sworn in. Rather, the judge's order said, the term "sex" in civil rights laws concern "the biological and anatomical differences between male and female students as determined at their birth".

The Supreme Court next month will hear a discrimination case, brought by Gavin Grimm, a transgender Virginia teen who sued his school district after it denied him access to the boys' restroom.

"Transgender young people face tragically high rates of discrimination and bullying, and they need a government that will stand up for them - not attack them", Griffin said.

  • Larry Hoffman