GOP Congressman Offers Bill Blocking Obama's Transgender Bathroom Edict
A Republican congressman from Indiana has proposed legislation blocking President Barack Obama's guidelines requiring schools to let transgender students use the restrooms of their choice, or risk losing federal funding.
Rep. Luke Messer's bill is titled "the Prohibiting the Usurpation of Bathroom Laws through Independent Choice School Act, or the PUBLIC School Act."
The legislation states that it "shall not be unlawful under any federal law" for state or local authorities to "enforce a policy regarding the use of sex-segregated bathrooms, or sex-segregated locker rooms, of educational institutions on the basis of gender identity." It also holds that federal financial aid "may not be reduced or denied" because local authorities set up their own policies on the use of these facilities.
[I]t's irresponsible for the Obama administration to begin this social experiment in the bathrooms of our nation's elementary schools. Decisions of this magnitude should be made at the state and local level by people who will put the interest of our kids ahead of political ideology.
Reports the Washington Examiner:
Messer's bill would put into U.S. law that schools can't lose their funding for failure to comply, and Messer said that step is needed to stop the federal government's overreach into local issues.
"Everyone on both sides of this debate should be treated with respect," Messer said. "And, through public discourse, I believe we can come to a solution that protects the privacy and dignity of everyone involved."
Confusion and consternation over the issue recently prompted 73 GOP lawmakers to ask for clarification in a letter to the Obama administration.The lawmakers asked for a reply to the letter by May 30:
Among other things, [the letter] asked what steps might be taken against school officials who don't comply, whether there will be any accommodation for rights of conscience, and all the steps school staff must take to comply.
Meanwhile, black conservative activists are blasting the Obama administration for saying the transgender bathroom issue is a civil rights issue and for comparing North Carolina's transgender law to white-supremacist laws that once permitted racism and segregation:
In her statement, [Attorney General Loretta] Lynch asserted that North Carolina's law is comparable to Jim Crow laws that permitted race-based discrimination and segregation following the 1876 election up until the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.
"This is not the first time that we have seen discriminatory responses to historic moments of progress for our nation," Lynch said. "We saw it in the Jim Crow laws that followed the Emancipation Proclamation. We saw it in fierce and widespread resistance to Brown v. Board of Education. And we saw it in the proliferation of state bans on same-sex unions intended to stifle any hope that gay and lesbian Americans might one day be afforded the right to marry."
Stacy Washington, a St. Louis-based radio talk show host and a member of Project 21, a network of black conservatives, slammed Obama's bathroom edict:
"Comparing gender dysphoria to innate characteristics such as race is a bridge too far for scientific-minded individuals, but not for the Organized Left," Washington said in a statement. "The idea that a mentally ill person should assume the mantle of civil rights so hard-fought and won by black Americans is insulting."
Nadra "Cap Black" Enzi, an anti-crime activist in Louisiana, said that as a black Southern man who grew up fighting "Jim Crow-lite" in Georgia during the 1970s and 1980s, he finds the administration's comparison "disrespectful."
"Once again the black experience is hijacked by individuals whose contempt and desperation is obvious!" Enzi said in a statement. "Middle and upper-income whites in search of artificial oppressed person status can do so without using our history to prop up delusional defenses."