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March 22, 2017:  A Whack-A-Mole Issue

March 23, 2017

One of the most troubling issues of this new administration is about transgender bathroom rights. I know, they’re all troubling. But this one keeps popping up, like a whack-a-mole these days. Essentially, Trump threw trans kids under the bus with the roll-back of the Obama administration’s directive that, under Title IX of the U.S. Constitution, they must be allowed to use the bathrooms the correspond to their gender identities in public schools. 

This roll-back doesn’t bode well for the case of Gavin Grimm, a trans teen who fought a high school policy forbidding him to use the boys’ restroom at school. Instead, he was to use “alternative private” facilities. (Hmmm…“alternative?” Sounds like a foreshadowing of the “alternative facts” idea.)

An appeals court ruled in favor of Grimm, but then the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear it, sending it back to the appeals court for reconsideration in light of the roll-back. It just pains me that the progress that’s been made on this basic right (and many others), which took so much time, effort and sacrifice to win, can be yanked away so quickly.

Add to that the hypocrisy of this administration. Trump very specifically addressed the LGBTQ community at the Republican National Convention last year, promising he would protect their rights. Then, he nominated the anti-LGBTQ Jeff Sessions as attorney general, who promptly rolled back Obama’s directive soon after taking office — with Trump’s blessing. They’re calling it a states’ rights issue. No, anti-discrimination is a national issue, enshrined in the Constitution.

The new secretary of education, Betsy DeVos, was against the roll-back but went along with it because she was outnumbered and wanted to keep her job, rather than take a stand.

I know there’ll be lawsuits and other challenges, but the protestor’s sign in this photo sums up the frustration perfectly.

 

 

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