11 states, including Texas, have filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration over guidelines to expand transgender rights in schools
11 U.S states have announced their plans to sue the Obama administration over guidelines that allow transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms according to their gender identity.
Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Alabama, Tennesse, Maine, West Virginia, Arizona, Louisiana, Utah and Georgia have challenged the White House directive, demanding a judge declare it unlawful. The lawsuit was filed on Wednesday 25 May in a Texas federal court, according to the Washington Post, and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton then confirmed it at a press conference.
The lawsuit claims that the Obama administration has “conspired to turn workplace 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.”
If states choose not to comply with said guidelines, they could lose federal funding, although officials from Texas have already claimed they will choose to forfeit $10 billion in education funds than accept the directive. Oklahoma brought in a counter-bill that would have meant schools would have to provide bathrooms for religious students that banned transgender students. Texas governer Greg Abbott tweeted: "JFK wanted to send a man to the moon. Obama wants to send a man to the women's restroom. We must get our country back on track."
The guidelines haven’t been implemented into federal law, but existing bans on sex discrimination that can protect trans people could be used against anti-trans states, like what was done in North Carolina. In April, a Virginia federal court ruled a trans boy in high school could use the men’s bathroom, making it the highest court in the country involved.
An argument from anti-trans lawmakers stems from the idea that women and children will be endangered by allowing transgender people into gendered bathrooms. However, statistics and research fail to dredge any examples of violent instances. Ever.
Mara Keisling, the executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality and the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement: “This is a direct attack on hundreds of thousands of transgender students, who are already vulnerable to bullying and harassment, and their loved ones. It dismisses practical guidelines that were requested by educators all over the nation and that have already been successful in thousands of school districts. This politically driven lawsuit is a sad waste of taxpayer money meant to stoke needless fears.”