Texas, alongside 12 other states, will ask a federal judge on Friday to stop the progress of the Obama Administration’s transgender bathroom policy, which allows transgender students to use restrooms in U.S. public schools, depending on their gender identity.

Texas and 12 other states will assist on Friday to a hearing in Fort Worth to ask U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor to halt Obama’s transgender bathroom policy. The hearing could be the latest stage in the battle started by the federal government, led by the Justice and Education departments, and various states that are trying to block the policy. During the hearing, the judge will hear arguments to consider a preliminary injunction that will temporarily hold the policy change.

Inclusive Bathroom
Inclusive restroom in U.S. public school. Image credit: NY magazine.

The Obama Administration wrote a letter in May to the nation’s public school districts saying they must allow transgender students to use bathrooms based on their gender identity.

The letter stated that because of receiving federal funds, every school in the U.S. should agree not to exclude, separate, deny benefits or give different treatment to students. Educational programs or activities at the institutions must be designed to include the school’s population as equals.

The White House argues that Title IX extends to gender identity and gives student population the right of choosing their preferred bathrooms in U.S. public schools. However, the policy change has not been well received by all entities. According to 13 States, it marks an unlawful and radical change.

13 U.S. states have answered back with a lawsuit

Texas leads the groups of 13 states opposing the transgender bathroom policy. After the announcement, the states immediately filed a joint lawsuit to block the policy. They argue that it goes against values of many people in the country.

Inclusive restroom
The filing claims that despite adding the terms “gender identity” next to “sex” in other sections of federal law, such amendment has not yet been included in Title IX. Image credit: NY magazine.

“We will not yield to blackmail from the president of the United States. This goes against the values of so many people. This has everything to do with keeping the federal government out of local issues,” said Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick said when the states sued the Department of Education.

In the lawsuit, states’ attorneys alleged that Title IX clearly prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex but not gender identity. The lawsuit reads that the policy is part of an Obama’s administration conspiracy to turn schools into laboratories for social experiments.

In turn, federal government defenders have argued that the lawsuit is an abstract disagreement of the Obama administration’s interpretation of Title IX, which could cause irreparable harm to the transgender population who has the right to be protected from discrimination in workplaces and educational facilities.

The U.S. Justice Department also alleged that states do not have support to request an injunction since the policy’s guidelines are not legally binding.

Source: Pink News