Ten more US states are suing the Obama administration over the mandatory guideline that allows transgender students to use the public school bathrooms corresponding to the gender they are identified with. Right now, there are 21 states, (almost half of the 50 US states) filing a lawsuit to stop the federal guidance.

In May, the Obama administration announced that public school allowed transgender students to use bathroom and locker rooms conforming to their gender identity, instead of the gender is written in their birth certificates. Nebraska, the lead plaintiff, was joined this Friday by to Arkansas, Kansas, Michigan, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota and Wyoming.

The Departments of Education and Justice and the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division addressed the school’s environment for transgender students and released some directives that gained criticism from conservative sectors. Photo credit: Headline Politics

According to Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson, the lawsuit filed in federal court in Nebraska says that the Obama’s administration  has circumvented established law by requiring showers, locker rooms, and bathroom to be open to both sexes at  public schools.

The 21 states argue that the US legislative history does not allow another “interpretation of the term sex” that the one is related to anatomy and genetics. He stated that federal government has used the title IX, which bars all kind of sex discriminations in public school, to establish the new guideline that allows transgender students to use the restrooms they are identified with.

“When a federal agency takes such unilateral action in an attempt to change the meaning of established law, it leaves state and local authorities with no other option than to pursue legal clarity in federal court in order to enforce the rule of law,” said a statement by Nebraska’s attorney general, while announcing the new lawsuit.

Peterson also said in a news release that  the federal administration did not follow the necessary procedures to create new federal regulations. He pointed out that the new directive supersedes the authority of local school districts to address individually and privately student issues.

Peterson also mentioned that the new rule just represents an agency going beyond its authority and  that affects the states authorities.

The 21 state claim that this kind of guidelines should be established by the Congress, not by the White House. However, the Justice Department has said that the federal civil laws, which bar sex discrimination, is able to provide the legal guidances to citizens.

In May, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said, “There is no room in our schools for discrimination” while announcing the new directive.

Although the Justice Department’s guidelines should not be completely imposed, schools might lose federal funding  if they do not respect the guidelines.

According to the Washington Post, advocates from the LGTB community defend the Obama administration’s directive because  not allowing transgender students to use the restroom corresponding to their gender identity violates their civil rights.  However, those who are against the new federal guidelines believe that the new rule threatens privacy and traditional values.

In the case of schools in Nebraska, Peterson said that school administrators had already dealt with transgender student’s school bathrooms dissents by offering them unisex bathrooms.

Source: The Washington Post