23 States are Suing the Federal Government Over Transgender Bathroom Rules

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A Federal rule allowing transgender kids to use bathrooms corresponding with their gender identity—rather than the sex listed on their birth certificates—in public schools has caused quite a stir amongst various states in the U.S. As of May 13, 2016 the Department of Education and the Department of Justice said schools that forced transgender kids to use bathrooms matching their birth sex would be violating Title IX and could lose federal funding.

Nebraska, Arkansas, Kansas, Michigan, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Wyoming, Texas, Alabama, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Utah, Georgia, Maine, Arizona, Kentucky and Mississippi are all states who filed this lawsuit saying the Department of Education and the Department of Justice does not carry the force of law.

“The recent action by these two federal agencies to require showers, locker rooms, and bathrooms to be open to both sexes based solely on the student’s choice, circumvents this established law,” Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson wrote in a statement. “It also supersedes local school districts’ authority to address student issues on an individualized, professional and private basis. 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.”

The Obama administration is still holding their ground on the decision saying that transgender kids are already a vulnerable minority and the act of forcing them to choose a particular bathroom is discriminatory.

“We’re talking about kids, and anybody who’s been in school, been in high school, who’s been a parent, I think should realize that kids who are sometimes in the minority—kids who have a different sexual orientation or are transgender—are subject to a lot of bullying, potentially they are vulnerable,” President Barack Obama said in an interview with BuzzFeed defending the directive.

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