In a breaking development to the controversy over transgender persons using public bathrooms that correspond to the gender with which they identify, President Obama’s administration has announced that it will put its foot down with regard to the matter. A letter will go out tomorrow from the Department of Education demanding that public schools allow transgender students access to the bathroom the student feels is appropriate.
Obama administration will tell all public schools to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms of their choice https://t.co/F8AgTmFiDa
— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 13, 2016
In other words, President Obama is tired of the run around that is doing nothing but promoting an agenda by curtailing the rights of Americans. There never has been — and, more than likely never will be — any case of a transgender individual harming a child in a public bathroom. Conservatives like to claim otherwise, but it’s simply not true. Transgender persons are in at least as much danger as others, since going into the bathroom which corresponds to their “sex” but in which they clearly don’t belong could result in serious bodily harm.
The real danger extends to transgender children, too. According to the Human Rights Watch, between 15 and 25 percent of transgender minorities experienced sexual assault “in K-12 educational settings.” Let that sink in. That’s up to 1 in 4.
The scars of these experiences are with these children for the rest of their lives. A common result of sexual assault is depression, which can often be extreme. Depression, in turn, often leads to suicide because of an inability to see a big picture that would give the sufferer a reason to stay alive. And over 40% of transgender and gender non-conforming people have attempted suicide. Almost 1 in 2. Let that sink in and see who’s really in danger.
As reported by the New York Times, “Schools that do not abide by the Obama administration’s interpretation of the law [in favor of allowing transgender students appropriate bathroom access] could face lawsuits or a loss of federal aid.” It’s the federal government’s money, so little foul can be cried when it is taken away. This measure is similar to the discussion surrounding the potential dropping of billions of dollars of funding for North Carolina infrastructure in response to their recent sweeping discrimination with “House Bill 2.”
“House Bill 2,” also known as HB 2 or the “bathroom bill,” restricts transgender persons to the bathroom corresponding with their “biological sex,” and imposes sweeping restrictions on the ability to protest in favor of LGBT rights. North Carolina is currently engaged in a legal battle with the federal government over the former’s refusal to overturn the law. The Obama administration asserts that the law is in violation of the Civil Rights Act.
In addition, this announcement from the Obama administration comes just weeks after a Federal Appeals Court ruled in favor of allowing a transgender student to sue his school board under similar circumstances. As reported by Moriah Balingit of the New York Times, “A federal appeals court in Richmond has ruled that a transgender high school student who was born as a female can sue his school board on discrimination grounds because it banned him from the boys’ bathroom.” This was on April 19.
The American Civil Liberties Union just today intervened in a similar legal dispute in Chicago.
Featured Image is Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.