While the 2016 election shows the battle between Republicans and Democrats in their race to the White House, transgender bathroom laws continue the fight between Republican state legislatures and the Obama administration in the courts. Starting with the state of Texas, who are leading the fight, officials went to court today to make their argument against the federal government, saying that the Obama administration is outside the law by ordering schools to accommodate their bathrooms to transgender students.
This will be the first hearing on the transgender bathroom issue with U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor in Fort Worth, Texas, where another fight is based between the state and the Fort Worth Independent School District’s Superintendent Kent Scribner, who implemented a rule allowing transgender students’ access to bathrooms, depending on their gender identity.
The state of Texas is leading the fight, along with 12 other states, which includes North Carolina, who put themselves in the headlines when they passed the HB2 law earlier this year.
The lawsuit was triggered when the Department of Education and the Department of Justice submitted guidelines to schools nationwide, saying that they would be in violation of Title IX for discriminating against transgender students following North Carolina’s deadline to change their HB2 law before the DOJ filed a lawsuit against them.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination based on sex at places that receive federal funding.
The guidelines extend that sexual discrimination to transgender students, which is why the case is expected to point out the distinction between gender identity and biological sex.
Many businesses began to move away from North Carolina in protest of the transgender bathroom law, and very recently the NBA was planning to hold their All-Star game there this year and even put pressure on the state to change their law. The legislature did very little to make those changes, resulting in the NBA moving their event to another city, further infuriating the state.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton followed Lt. Governor Dan Patrick’s call to fire back at the federal government, and moved quickly with the lawsuit requesting that the ruling period be expedited before the 2016-2017 school year.
The states fighting the administration over the transgender law other than North Carolina and Texas are Maine, Louisiana, Alabama, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Arizona, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Georgia, and Utah.
According to Yellow Hammer, Alabama might have more success with their transgender bathroom law as the state’s attorney general, Luther Strange, has told the school districts to ignore the federal government’s letter, even as they ask, along with the other states, to put a stop to the president’s order.
The leading argument in support of the transgender law is that by allowing transgender people to use the bathrooms according to the gender they identify with, puts the public at risk where sex offenders or criminals will take advantage of the situation and go into a woman’s restroom making it unsafe for them.
It has also been said that the Obama administration is pandering to a fringe group of people and therefore creating a “social experiment.”
LGBT and civil rights groups have fired back saying that the transgender bathroom laws — which appear to have caught onto the mentioned states like wild-fire — are discriminatory and have also posed the argument for transgender students who identify with the female gender, going into a boy’s restroom.
According to the Dallas News the George W. Bush-appointed judge said they would not make a ruling today, but would as soon as possible saying, “rest assured, I’m working on it.”
There have been some reports of lawmakers suggesting that transgender people could be beaten, if they do enter the “wrong” restroom, which has only created more anger against the law.
[Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images]