Education LGBTQ

Obama Administration and States in Contention over Transgender Rights

A federal judge in Texas has issued a preliminary, nationwide injunction blocking the Obama administration from enforcing guidelines that extended protections under Title IX to transgender students in public schools. The guidance was set to go into effect this morning when Texas children went back to school.

Over 20 states had filed suit against the federal government, insisting the administration went too far by requiring schools to allow transgender students to use restrooms corresponding with their gender identity.

This comes in the wake of last weeks’ move by the General Services Administration (GSA), which issued a bulletin clarifying that consistent with federal civil rights laws, any federally-operated facility controlled by the GSA must allow all people to use the restroom consistent with their self-identified gender identity.

The bulletin explicitly states that transgender individuals cannot be required to complete any type of medical procedure in order to be granted access to the restroom that matches their gender. It also protects transgender people from being confined to single-occupancy bathrooms.

Chai Feldblum, a member of the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, told BuzzFeed News, “This type of requirement can change the default for what life is like for those federal employees and people who enter federal buildings.”

The bulletin will impact 9,200 properties, covering anyone who enters them as well as the approximately 1 million federal employees who work in those spaces.

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court temporarily blocked a lower court ruling ordering Virginia school officials to allow a transgender student to use the restroom that corresponded with his gender identity, not the gender on his birth certificate.

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