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Trump reverses transgender use of bathrooms

US transgender students on Wednesday lost the federal right that allowed them to intrude in school bathrooms and locker rooms. The reversal is a huge setback for transgender rights groups, which had been foisting their "rights" on others.

Published: February 23, 2017, 8:28 am

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    Washington

    Conservatives welcomed the decision by the Justice and Education Departments to end the transgender issue, saying the Obama measures were illegal and violated the rights of most other students, especially girls who did not feel safe using restrooms together with anatomical males, the Associated Press reported.

    It will now be up to states and school districts to decide on bathroom policy. A federal judge in Texas Ken Paxton, had already put a temporary hold on the Obama overreach soon after 13 states sued.

    “Our daughters should never be forced to share private, intimate spaces with male classmates, even if those young men are struggling with these issues,” said Vicki Wilson, a member of Students and Parents for Privacy. “It violates their right to privacy and harms their dignity.”

    The Trump administration stepped in to end federal meddling that forced acceptance of new gender identities, in support of states’ rights after the Obama administration signed a federal “anti-discrimination” law for access to restrooms in accordance with expressed gender identity and not biological sexual identity.

    According to the White House “returning power to the states paves the way for an open and inclusive process to take place at the local level with input from parents, students, teachers and administrators.”

    “This is an issue best solved at the state and local level,” Trump’s Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said. “Schools, communities and families can find – and in many cases have found – solutions that protect all students.”

    North Carolina has enacted a law restricting access to bathrooms in government-owned buildings to the sex that appears on a person’s birth certificate. More than 10 states are currently considering similar legislation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

    But transgenders are angry. “Reversing this guidance tells trans kids that it’s OK with the Trump administration and the Department of Education for them to be abused and harassed at school for being trans,” said American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten.

    “This is a mean-spirited attack on hundreds of thousands of students who simply want to be their true selves and be treated with dignity while attending school,” Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said in a statement.

    The Obama administration’s measures were based on a federal law called Title IX, prohibiting sex discrimination in education, but had applied it to gender identity and not sexual identity. The decision by the Trump administration could impact Supreme Court cases, such as the one involving Gavin Grimm, a transgender teen who was denied bathroom access in Virginia. The justices could well decide not to hear his case.

    In a phone interview with the AP, Grimm said: “It’s not positive. It has the possibility of hurting transgender students and transgender people. We’re going to keep fighting like we have been and keep fighting for the right thing.”

    Transgender protesters gathered outside the White House on Wednesday against Trump’s reversal.

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