On Wednesday the Trump administration issued new guidance outlining which restrooms transgender students can use adding confusion and uncertainty to a case due to come before the U.S. Supreme Court next month.
Citing legal confusion, the departments said they "have decided to withdraw and rescind" guidelines issued last year by the Obama administration requiring that schools allow transgender students to use restrooms matching their chosen gender rather than their birth gender.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who's fingerprints appear to be all over this move, said in a statement...
“The prior guidance documents did not contain sufficient legal analysis or explain how the interpretation was consistent with the language of Title IX. The Department of Education and the Department of Justice therefore have withdrawn the guidance. Congress, state legislatures, and local governments are in a position to adopt appropriate policies or laws addressing this issue. The Department of Justice remains committed to the proper interpretation and enforcement of Title IX and to its protections for all students, including LGBTQ students, from discrimination, bullying, and harassment.”
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said President Trump is...
"a firm believer in states' rights and that certain issues like this are not best dealt with at the federal level.
To date fifteen states have explicit protections for transgender students, and many individual school districts in other states have adopted policies that recognize students on the basis of their gender identity. Just one state, North Carolina, has enacted a law restricting students' bathroom access to their sex at birth.
But so far this year, since Trump has taken office, lawmakers in more than 10 states are considering enacting legislation similar to North Carolina's according to the National Conference of State Legislators.
One need only to look at the fact that only 150,000 youths — 0.7 percent— between the ages of 13 and 17 in the United States identify as transgender, according to a study by The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, to see that this move is merely a cynical play to strengthen Trump's already crumbling base and agenda.
This move might come as a surprise to those in the LGBT community who may have considered themselves safe from this administration as Trump portrayed himself as a defender of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community in his Republican National Convention speech last year.
FACT CHECK: Gloucester County School Board v. G.G. a case in which a transgender student is arguing for the right to use the facilities that correspond to self-imposed gender identity instead of sex at birth, is scheduled to go before the Court in March.