President Obama’s transgender bathroom executive order has been blocked by a federal judge in the case of State of Texas v United States. U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor sides with the plaintiffs in the case, against the President.
The ruling comes less than three weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court issued a temporary block of Gloucester County’s policy that would have allowed a transgender student to use the bathroom according to a chosen gender-identity.
A federal judge in Fort Worth, Texas, on Sunday sided with Texas and 12 other states that argued the administration’s policy usurps local control and threatens students’ safety and privacy.
The use of public bathrooms and locker rooms by transgender people has become the latest front in civil rights struggles between social conservatives and the administration following battles over same-sex marriage and military service by openly gay members of the armed forces in which President Barack Obama has sided with gay-rights advocates.
In the Texas case, the judge said his ruling was based on the administration failing to follow rule-making procedures and not underlying issues of students’ rights.
“This case presents the difficult issue of balancing the protection of students’ rights and that of personal privacy when using school bathrooms, locker rooms, showers, and other intimate facilities, while ensuring that no student is unnecessarily marginalized while attending school,” O’Connor said. “The resolution of this difficult policy issue is not, however, the subject of this order.”
The U.S. Department of Education published guidelines in May instructing schools to not discriminate on the basis of gender identity. The directive was issued days after the Justice Department sued North Carolina over a state law requiring residents to use public restrooms matching their gender at birth.
The transgender bathroom controversy really started back in May, when North Carolina enacted HB 2, which required each person to use the restroom that corresponds to the gender listed on their birth certificate (also known as, the gender a person actually is).
In response, transgender activists took to all sorts of boycotting of the state of North Carolina, and companies even decided to not expand their operations there due to the new law.
Some companies, like Target, even changed their bathroom policy to allow people to use whatever bathroom they so desire if they “identify” as that particular gender. However, as many of us have predicted, this has only led to more opportunities for rapists and pedophiles to prey on women and children.
This ruling is just at the District Court level, so there will undoubtedly be an appeal of the ruling by the Obama administration. This controversy is far from over.