A federal judge in Texas has blocked the Obama administration’s recent ‘guidance’ that transgender students be allowed to use the bathroom at public schools that matches their gender identity.
US District Judge Reed O’Connor granted a nationwide preliminary injunction preventing the new rules from being in effect while a lawsuit filed by Texas and 12 other states proceeds.
‘The information before the court demonstrates defendants have “drawn a line in the sand” in that they have concluded plaintiffs must abide by the guidelines, without exception, or they are in breach of their … obligations,’ O’Connor in a 38-page order.
Five civil rights groups slammed the ruling as ‘unfortunate and premature’ in a joint statement.
‘A ruling by a single judge in one circuit cannot and does not undo the years of clear legal precedent nationwide establishing that transgender students have the right to go to school without being singled out for discrimination,’ stated Lambda Legal, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and ACLU of Texas; National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR); Transgender Law Center; and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD).
‘The court’s misguided decision targets a small, vulnerable group of young people – transgender elementary and high school students – for potential continued harassment, stigma and abuse,’ they added.
The lawsuit accuses the Obama administration of conspiring ‘to turn workplaces and educational settings across the country into laboratories for a massive social experiment, flouting the democratic process, and running roughshod over commonsense policies protecting children and basic privacy rights.’
The release of detailed guidance by the Departments of Education and Justice came in May as the federal government sued the state of North Carolina for its law forcing trans students to use bathrooms matching the gender on their birth certificate.
The lawsuit and the new guidance pointed out that a school risks losing federal funding if it treats a trans student differently from the way it treats other students of the same gender identity.
The other states involved in the lawsuit are Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin. All have Republican governors except for Louisiana and West Virginia.