News & Politics

Obama Appointee: White House ‘Aggressively Engaged’ in Transgender Fight

The Obama White House is “aggressively engaged” in the push to allow transgender students to use whichever bathroom they wish at school, according to a top Obama appointee in the Department of Education. DOE Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine Lhamon made the point last Thursday during her keynote address at an LGBT summit in Michigan which was co-hosted by the White House.

Via the Daily Caller:

The event was co-sponsored by activist group Equality Michigan, which has led a statewide charge to allow schoolchildren to choose their name, gender and bathroom, all without parental knowledge or input. Officials from seven different federal agencies attended the event, according to the Equality Michigan website.

Equality Michigan executive director Steph White blasted out a giddy email to supporters after the event, which she called “a great catalyst that will propel our collective work forward.” The email included an excerpt from Lhamon’s remarks, which White called “refreshingly clear.”

Speaking about the Obama administration, Lhamon told attendees: “We are serious. We are aggressively engaged. We will enforce Title IX.” The Daily Caller has filed a FOIA request with the Department of Education for Lhamon’s full remarks.

Under Lhamon’s guidance, the DOE’s Office of Civil Rights has ruled that schools will be in violation of Title IX if they do not permit transgender students to use the bathroom and locker rooms of their choice. The administration has made clear that giving private, single-user bathrooms is not a sufficient accommodation. That is: schools must allow boys who think they’re girls to shower and change alongside actual girls.

On April 19, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled that a biological female who identifies as a male may bring a claim under Title IX against a school for not allowing her to use the men’s restrooms and locker room facilities.

In layman’s terms, this means that Title IX, a law designed to prevent discrimination based on sex in schools and universities, may now be used by transgender individuals in the Fourth Circuit to bring lawsuits alleging discrimination based on their gender identity. The Fourth Circuit essentially equated gender identity to biological sex for the purposes of Title IX. In doing so, it further eroded whatever is left of the distinction between the legislative and executive functions of our federal government.

Title IX “prohibits discrimination based on sex, not gender” but the Fourth Circuit decided to adopt Secretary Lhamon’s interpretation of the law.

Should the Fourth Circuit’s decision be appealed to the United States Supreme Court, it will have to consider whether it is willing to stretch agency deference to the point where actual, substantive lawmaking is happening within the executive branch.

Last September at a high school in Hillsboro, Missouri, more than 100 students walked out of class in protest over a transgender student who wanted to use the girls’ bathroom and locker room. “Lila” Perry initially used a gender-neutral faculty restroom, but began changing in the girls’ locker room after he added P.E. to his schedule.

“I wasn’t hurting anyone and I didn’t want to feel segregated out,” Perry told KMOV. “I didn’t want to be in the gender-neutral bathroom. I am a girl. I shouldn’t be pushed off to another bathroom.”

But some students have expressed discomfort at the idea of Perry using the ladies’ room. And many parents have also voiced concerns. A Thursday school board meeting that preceded Monday’s walkout was highly attended, and what bathroom Perry should use was a topic of debate.

“The girls have rights, and they shouldn’t have to share a bathroom with a boy,” Tammy Sorden told St. Louis Today. Sorden, who has a son at Hillsboro High, added that it’s not right to give Perry special treatment “while the girls just have to suck it up.”

A retail chain that opted to go the politically correct route on bathroom policy is also facing a public backlash.

Target’s new policy of allowing people to use bathrooms and fitting rooms that don’t correspond with their biological gender has caused many customers to boycott the retail giant.

“We believe that everyone—every team member, every guest, and every community—deserves to be protected from discrimination, and treated equally,” said a statement from the retailer.
 Target’s decision immediately created controversy and started the hashtag #BoycottTarget.
The American Family Association released a statement on Wednesday calling for customers to boycott the retail giant because its “harmful policy poses a danger to women and children.”

By Monday afternoon, over 587,000 people had signed the pledge to boycott the store.