By L.A. Williams
Christian Action League
July 16, 2016
“Straight into the paper shredder” — that’s where one Texas school superintendent said he’s putting President Obama’s transgender bathroom guidelines that would open all school restrooms to people of both sexes.
Though the Lone Star State was among the first to file a lawsuit against the administration’s May 13 edict, it was certainly not the last. As of earlier this week, no fewer than 24 states — from Montana to Maine and Arizona to Georgia — had taken legal action against the nonsensical decree.
“We’re glad to see state after state standing up for privacy and common sense, and we hope this trend spreads to the remaining half of the country,” said the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League. “When Tar Heel families and safety-conscious lawmakers refused to back down from the federal government’s dangerous demands, their resolve helped pave the way for leaders in other states to take similar stands.”
Many experts expect all of these legal battles, including three suits in North Carolina, where a Charlotte city ordinance would have effectually banned gender-specific bathrooms had legislators not passed HB2, will be consolidated for an ultimate ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court.
Wherever the suits are filed, judges will likely be poring over the wording of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 — the federal law prohibiting schools from discriminating on the basis of sex and the presumed linchpin of the Obama administration’s argument that transgender students should be allowed to use bathrooms and locker rooms of their choice.
“Title IX and its implementing regulations prohibit sex discrimination in educational programs and activities operated by recipients of Federal financial assistance,” the Letter on Transgender Students states. “This prohibition encompasses discrimination based on a student’s gender identity, including discrimination based on a student’s transgender status.”
Kellie Fiedorek, legal counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, told the North Carolina Family Policy Council last week that the May 13 letter referred to as “significant guidance” from the U.S. departments of Education and Justice is simply an opinion revealing the administration’s “political goal of forcing women and men to share locker rooms, to share restrooms and to sleep together on overnight trips if you’re in school.”
“Essentially what they’re doing is they’re basing this guidance on an inaccurate interpretation of Title IX,” she added.
In truth, Title IX states that “nothing contained herein shall be construed to prohibit any educational institution receiving funds under this Act, from maintaining separate living facilities for the different sexes.” Its regulations further state that “[a] recipient may provide separate toilet, locker room, and shower facilities on the basis of sex.”
Federal court rulings as far back as 1994 and as recently as 2015 have upheld schools’ Title IX rights to require students to use sex-segregated bathrooms. In fact, the only case in which a judge ruled otherwise is now under appeal.
“The U.S. Department of Education’s threats (to withhold funding) are empty threats. As such, the Department seeks to bully schools and states into complying with its wrongful interpretation of Title IX,” ADF attorneys reported.
Defending student privacy is exactly what Port Neches-Groves (Texas) Superintendent Rodney Cavness says he is doing and plans to continue, after shredding the president’s dictum.
“I have five daughters myself and I have 2,500 girls in my protection,” he told the media in May. “Their moms and dads expect me to protect them. And that is what I am going to do.”