A federal judge in Texas was asked on Friday (12 August) to block to Obama administration’s recent ‘guidance’ that transgender students be allowed to use the bathroom at public schools that matches their gender identity.
US District Judge Reed O’Connor listened to two hours of arguments in the Fort Worth court. Texas and 12 other states are seeking a nationwide preliminary injunction which would prevent the new rules from being in effect while the lawsuit proceeds.
O’Connor has promised a speedy ruling, according to the Star-Telegram.
The lawsuit accuses the Obama administration of conspiring ‘to turn workplaces and educational settings across the country into laboratories for a massive social experiment, flouting the democratic process, and running roughshod over commonsense policies protecting children and basic privacy rights.’
The release of detailed guidance by the Departments of Education and Justice came in May as the federal government sued the state of North Carolina for its law forcing trans students to use bathrooms matching the gender on their birth certificate.
The lawsuit and the new guidance pointed out that a school risks losing federal funding if it treats a trans student differently from the way it treats other students of the same gender identity.
The other states involved in the lawsuit are Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin. All have Republican governors except for Louisiana and West Virginia.
Lambda Legal, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and ACLU of Texas, Transgender Law Center; National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR); and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) have filed an amicus brief in the case and called the lawsuit ‘meritless’ in a joint statement issued Friday.
‘We are urging this court to protect transgender students and workers and allow them to enjoy a safe and discrimination-free education and workplace,’ the groups stated.
‘We oppose the efforts of state officials to manipulate the federal court system in order to skirt well-established law in their home circuits that affirms and respects the rights of transgender students and employees. We urge the court to deny the states’ request for a preliminary injunction.’
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