The Trump administration has withdrawn federal guidance which gives transgender students access to bathrooms which match their gender identity. The move could give many schools an excuse to restrict trans rights.
The Obama administration issued guidance in 2016 that interprets discrimination on gender identity as part of discriminating on the basis of gender, in response to growing confusion over how schools should accommodate transgender students. By rescinding this guidance, the administration is effectively depriving trans students of current federal civil rights protection.
Across the USA, this has sparked many pro-trans demonstrations in protest. Activists point out that federal courts have already set a precedent by ruling that discriminating against transgender people based on their gender identity is a violation of federal law.
A leading American medical society has stated that “refusing to respect a transgender student’s gender identity communicates a clear, negative message: there is something wrong with the student that warrants this unequal treatment.”
Trans students’ plight for bathroom access is only one story in a wider clash over transgender rights. This month, lawmakers in South Dakota considered a bill to give adoption workers the right to turn away LGBT parents wishing to adopt.