AG Jeff Sessions Just Quietly Sent a Message About Transgender Rights

Former Senator Larry Craig
Former Senator Larry Craig
Author

14 February, 2017

A federal judge in Texas issued a nationwide injunction last year, placing that guidance on hold by last year while considers a multi-state legal challenge brought by state leaders who called the rules federal overreach that threatens the privacy rights of students.

The Trump administration-not a big fan of injunctions lately or being told what to do, period-is also obviously fine with legal restrains so long as they help pave the way for intolerance and inequity. The Obama Administration had been asking the court to limit the scope of the injunction to the 12 states which are parties to the lawsuit.

Thirteen states had filed lawsuits challenging the Obama administration's transgender policy, resulting in the nationwide injunction. And some states, like California, have state-level anti-discrimination laws that include transgender students.

A Trump administration brief seeks to withdraw a request to stay an order against transgender student guidance. A hearing on the request was set for Tuesday, but the Friday court filing asked that the hearing be cancelled.

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins said the Justice Department has taken a "welcome first step".

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Previously, the Obama administration had argued that prohibiting transgender students from using bathrooms or locker room facilities that correspond to their gender identity violated federal laws prohibiting sex discrimination in public schools.

For now, transgender students won't be largely affected by the Justice Department's withdrawal.

On Friday, the newly empowered Attorney General Jeff Sessions changed course on months of appeals by the Obama administration, signaling a possible rollback of earlier attempts to expand federal protections to transgender students. "I think there should be a states' issue".

In an interview last May with The Washington Post, Trump, who was then the Republican nominee for president, said it was important to protect the rights of transgender people but thought the decision of how to direct schools to deal with transgender students was best left up to the states.

A statement from the White House read in part, "President Trump continues to be respectful and supportive of LGBTQ rights, just as he has been throughout the election". But earlier this month, his staff issued a statement emphasizing his support for the LGBT community, amid concerns about a draft of an executive order to extends religious freedoms, which some fear could be lead to discrimination against LGBT individuals. The dispute involves Gavin Grimm, a transgender high school student in Virginia, and the Gloucester County School Board.


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