By Hunter Hines
Christian Action League
May 13, 2016
WASHINGTON – Friday, the Obama Administration issued an edict requiring that all public school districts nationwide allow students to use the bathroom, locker room or showers, with the gender they subjectively identify.
The directive, in a letter written and signed by officials of the U.S. Justice and Education Departments, says the decree is being sent in response to “an increasing number of questions from parents, teachers, principals, and school superintendents about civil rights protections for transgender students.”
The letter states: “A school may not require transgender students to use facilities inconsistent with their gender identity or to use individual-user facilities when other students are required to do so.”
Although the letter acknowledges it does not have the force of law, it does say that it is meant to provide “significant guidance” that could put schools that refuse to abide by it in jeopardy of losing federal aid.
The Administration’s dictate comes on the heels of four lawsuits filed over North Carolina’s “bathroom bill” (HB 2), which overturned a Charlotte city ordinance that allowed men into women’s restroom facilities – a measure the General Assembly and Governor Pat McCrory rightly argued violated a person’s fundamental right to privacy.
Dr. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League, said the Department of Justice and the Department of Education were grossly overreaching.
“Look, it doesn’t matter what your position is on transgender, gender identity, gender expression, gender transition, etc. It is not the role of the Department of Education to write the rules on this issue. Public schools don’t belong to the federal government, they belong to the parent’s whose taxes pay for their children to attend them. You can’t simply say this is what you must do, and if you don’t, we might take away your funding. Have they forgotten who provides that funding? Moreover, the Justice Department can’t insert its own interpretation of how the Civil Rights Act applies to these classifications. That’s something Congress needs to address. In this case, the states, the courts, the people have had no say. Regardless of what President Obama and his Administration may think, the nation’s future isn’t determined by his ‘phone and a pen,’” said Dr. Creech.
Dr. Russell Moore, head of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist convention, issued a statement explaining the cultural implications of the Obama Administration’s mandate.
“The state here wishes to use its coercive power not simply to stop mistreatment of people, but to rescript the most basic human intuitions about humanity as male and female. How, after all, does one win a culture war against one of the most basic facts of science and life: that there are two sexes? One does so by withholding the funds and recognition necessary to operate in the public space, unless institutions get in line. Children, then, become pawns of the state for the state to teach what is ultimately a theological lesson, not a scientific one,” said Moore.
Moore went on to say the directive is unworkable.
“There are good reasons to put boys and girls in different bathrooms and locker rooms and sometimes sports teams, reasons that don’t impugn the dignity of people but uphold it. Sex-differentiated bathrooms and sports teams and dormitories for men and women aren’t the equivalent of, say, a terrorist Jim Crow state unnaturally forcing people apart based on a fiction, useful to the powerful, that skin color is about superiority and inferiority. Every human being knows that there are important, and necessary, differences between men and women. Without such recognition, women are harmed and men are coarsened,” he said.
Dave Kistler, president of the North Carolina Pastor’s Network, said in a statement that the President’s action was “an illustration of his extreme narcissism!”
“According to Daniel 7, The Tribulation Anti-Christ will ‘think to change times (dates) and laws.’ He will do so, replacing traditional calendar dates and long-held laws with things that promote himself. While I am by no means suggesting that Obama is/may be the Biblical Anti-Christ, I do find it interesting that he acts in an ‘Anti-Christ-esque’ fashion, and has done so since he first began running for office,” Kistler said.
Kistler also said he appreciated Governor Pat McCrory and the North Carolina General Assembly’s leadership on this issue, and called upon Governor’s and other legislature’s across the country to resist the President’s “arrogant, unconstitutional, illegal act.”
The document also states that public schools, colleges and universities, must also allow males who identify as females to play on female athletic teams, as well as females who identify as males to play on male athletic teams. Males will also have to share dorms and other facilities with females, and vice versa.
The lawsuits currently filed in federal courts over HB 2 (a total of 5) will likely determine not only the fate of HB 2, but whether the word “sex” in the nation’s civil rights laws will include purely subjective terms like “gender identity.”