Trump Reverses Stance On Transgender Rights, Rescinds Obama’s School Bathroom Rules

Published February 23, 2017
Published February 23, 2017

Transgender students will no longer have the president's backing to use whichever bathroom matches their gender identity.


David Silverman/Getty Images

In an April 2016 town hall, Donald Trump told the audience that transgender people should be able to “use the bathroom they feel is appropriate.”

As he transitioned from candidate to president, Trump’s views appears to have changed dramatically. On Wednesday, President Donald Trump rescinded the Obama administration’s instructions that public schools allow transgender students to use whichever bathroom fits their chosen gender identity.

Transgender people and advocates have already come out swinging against the Trump administration’s decision.

“We all know that Donald Trump is a bully,” Rachel Tiven, chief executive of Lambda Legal, an LGBT advocacy group, told Reuters, “but his attack on transgender children today is a new low.”

In May 2016, when the Obama administration implemented the order, similar uproars transpired — but among different parts of the U.S. population.

Many conservative states opposed the order, officially because they believed that the Obama administration circumvented Congress to push what they called a “radical” agenda.

“Our fight over the bathroom directive has always been about former President Obama’s attempt to bypass Congress and rewrite the laws to fit his political agenda for radical social change,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton told Reuters.

In order to operationalize the instructions, the Obama administration used an interpretation of the Title IX law — which bans sexual discrimination in education — to threaten to withhold federal funds from any public education institution that did not comply with the administration’s guidelines.

In response, thirteen states — led by Texas — successfully sued to stop the rule’s implementation until the Supreme Court could hear a case that pertained directly to transgender people and public school bathrooms. In the case, a transgender boy from Virginia called Gavin Grimm sued his high school after officials denied him the right to use the boys’ bathroom.

While Paxton and his colleagues have rejoiced at the Trump administration’s decisions, other state officials have rebuked it.

“President Trump’s decision to rescind anti-discrimination protections for transgender students is yet another cruel move by an administration committed to divisive policies that roll back the clock on civil rights,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement.

Meanwhile, 17-year-old Grimm vows to press on in his fight for equality.

“I’ve faced my share of adversaries in rural Virginia,” Grimm said at a rally outside the White House this past Wednesday night, according to Reuters. “I never imagined that my government would be one of them. We will not be beaten down by this administration.”

Next, check out how Homeland Security has ordered the mass capture and deportation of undocumented immigrants, before finding out how lower teenage suicide rates are linked to same-sex marriage legalization.

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