Eleven US States op­pose trans­gen­der edict

Fiji Sun - - Weather / TV, Movie Guide -

Eleven US states have filed a law­suit chal­leng­ing the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion’s re­cent ef­forts to ex­pand the rights of trans­gen­der stu­dents. The White House is­sued a di­rec­tive this month, man­dat­ing that all stu­dents be al­lowed to use the toi­let that matches their gen­der iden­tity.

The states called the or­der “a mas­sive so­cial ex­per­i­ment”. Sev­eral US states have re­cently en­acted laws that limit the rights of trans­gen­der peo­ple. The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion has threat­ened to with­hold fed­eral ed­u­ca­tion aid to states that do not com­ply with the di­rec­tive.

Texas - one of the con­ser­va­tive states chal­leng­ing the di­rec­tive - stands to lose US$10bil­lion (FJ$21.32bn) ed­u­ca­tion fund­ing. “The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion is tram­pling the United States Con­sti­tu­tion,’’ Texas Gover­nor Gregg Ab­bott said. Fort Worth, Texas, has be­come one of the fiercest bat­tle­grounds in this fight over which toi­lets trans­gen­der pupils can use.

Of­fi­cials there have is­sued guid­ance to schools say­ing trans­gen­der stu­dents should be able to use the toi­let that matches their gen­der iden­tity. But there has been a back­lash from some par­ents. We at­tended one meet­ing where peo­ple with chil­dren at­tend­ing schools in the dis­trict told us they felt the new guide­lines en­dan­gered public safety. Oth­ers were con­cerned about the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion, which they said had not con­sulted with par­ents enough.

Many, though, ad­mit­ted that they felt that change on is­sues like same-sex mar­riage had hap­pened too fast and was against their be­liefs. But they said would fight back when it came to trans­gen­der rights, and sup­ported their state in stand­ing against the White House.

The White House di­rec­tive says all stu­dents can use toi­lets that match their gen­der iden­tity.

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