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Trump administration won’t pursue Obama transgender school bathrooms edict in court

Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire

February 13, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – On Friday, the Trump administration announced it will not defend the Obama administration's transgender school bathrooms mandate.

The Trump administration is not challenging an injunction preventing boys from accessing girls' intimate facilities and vice versa. The injunction temporarily blocked the Obama order from taking place in schools across the country. U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor granted the injunction in August after 13 states sued to stop the mandate. 

The Obama administration was challenging the injunction's nationwide application, arguing it should only be limited to the 13 suing states.

The Obama edict threatened schools nationwide with the loss of federal funding if they didn't allow boys who say they are girls and vice versa to share bathrooms, showers, locker rooms, and hotel rooms on overnight school trips. 

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

"We are hopeful that the Trump administration will formally withdraw the Obama edict so that parents and schools will remain free to protect the privacy and safety of every student," said Perkins.

"The Trump administration is right to stop the legal defense of an indefensible edict that violates the rights of parents and the privacy of schoolchildren nationwide," he said. "The writing was on the wall in this case. The Obama administration went way beyond the limits of its constitutional and statutory authority to rewrite laws legally adopted by Congress. The federal government has no authority to strip parents and local school districts of the right to provide a safe learning environment for children by forcing them to adopt controversial shower and bathroom policies."

The Human Rights Campaign, a homosexual lobby group, blamed newly sworn-in Attorney General Jeff Sessions. 

"After being on the job for less than 48 hours, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has signaled his intent to undermine the equal dignity of transgender students," said the group's president, Chad Griffin. "President Trump must immediately reverse course and direct the DOJ to uphold guidance protecting transgender students."

“The decision reflects President Trump’s statements during the campaign that the federal government has no business mandating shower and bathroom policies on schools – saying 'states should make the decision,'" said Perkins.

"Attorney General Sessions has sided with the extremist Texas Attorney General and taken steps to indicate that the Department of Justice will not be defending the federal government’s guidance," said Mara Keisling, the executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality. "The immediate impact of this initial legal maneuver is limited" but is nevertheless a "frightening sign" for the transgender lobby.

The Trump administration's refusal to defend the law essentially means that the federal government will no longer view prohibiting males from female facilities or vice versa as "sex discrimination" under the federal Title IX law. 

This year, the Supreme Court will address whether schools should be forced to treat students based on self-described "gender identity" rather than biological reality. It will hear an appeal from the Gloucester County School Board in Virginia on a girl's lawsuit to use male showers, toilets, and locker rooms at school. 

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