Obama Says Transgender Students Can Use The Correct Bathroom (An Obvious Thing Which Apparently Needed To Be Clarified By The Goddamn President)
Amidst the veritable shit-storm that is going on in North Carolina regarding the right for trans people to use the bathroom, the Obama administration has issued a decree saying that all public schools are required to allow transgender students to use the bathroom that matches their gender.
The letter was sent out to schools early this morning, which is largely in direct response to North Carolina’s policy allowing kids to pepper spray transgender kids if they feel threatened in school bathrooms, another fear-based symptom of the recent HB2 bill that passed in North Carolina which bars transgender people from using bathrooms other than their birth gender (so much fucking face-palm).
“No student should ever have to go through the experience of feeling unwelcome at school or on a college campus. We must ensure that our young people know that whoever they are or wherever they come from, they have the opportunity to get a great education an environment free from discrimination, harassment and violence.”
The timing of the issuing of this statement is like a prophetic enactment of the speech Loretta Lynch gave which explicitly pointed out the unconstitutional nature of HB2 bill while making a promise to the transgender community that the Obama administration would do everything within their power to ally and protect.
While the letter sent out to school districts isn’t technically enforced by law, schools that deign to break its code risk the possibility of facing lawsuits or losing federal aid, an incentive as strong as the law.
A sample from the letter provided to the New York Times says plain and clear:
“A school may not require transgender students to use facilities inconsistent with their gender identity or to use individual-user facilities when other students are not required to do so.”
This letter effectively points out the hypocrisy of barring transgender students from bathrooms while allowing other kids to use them as normal. If schools were really concerned about student safety and the risk of bathroom violence they should instate single-user bathrooms for students of all genders. But obviously, a logical approach to safety is not the real issue at hand.
The letter gently hammers in that point, saying:
“As is consistently recognized in civil rights cases, the desire to accommodate others’ discomfort cannot justify a policy that singles out and disadvantages a particular class of students.”
I’m curious to hear the elaborate bullshit strung together by school districts in North Carolina and beyond framed as a rebuttal. Hopefully the threat of losing federal funding and facing possible lawsuits will cause some people to slow their roll and let transgender people fucking live.