Obama Administration Says Transgender Bathroom Guidance Not ‘Legally Binding’

By Published on July 29, 2016

U.S. attorneys wrote recently in response to a lawsuit filed by Texas and other states that the Obama administration’s policy to let transgender students use the bathroom according to their “gender identity” is only a guidance and is not “legally binding,” reports Times Records News.

Last May, the Obama administration released a guidance that said public schools must allow transgender students to use the bathroom that corresponds to their “gender identity.” A letter went out to public schools saying that if the schools did not comply, they stood to risk losing federal funding.

Texas and a few other states filed a lawsuit against the administration, saying the Obama administration was trying to turn public schools and workplaces into “laboratories for a massive social experiment.”

U.S. attorneys now say that the policy is only a guidance.

“These guidance documents — which are the focal point of plaintiffs’ claims — are merely expressions of agencies’ views as to what the law requires. They are not legally binding, and they expose plaintiffs to no new liability or legal requirements,” U.S attorneys wrote in a memorandum filed Wednesday.

The memorandum also said that the states did not offer any proper proof that “irreparable harm” would come to them.

“The threat of irreparable harm or injury must be ‘real,’ ‘substantial’ and ‘immediate,’ not speculative or conjectural,” the memorandum says.

Superintendent David Thweatt, whose school district is a plaintiff in one of the filings against the policy, told Times Records News he believes the administration is “backpedaling pretty fast” from its original message.

“To me, it’s a ridiculous argument,” he said. “It’s like a Jedi mind trick — there is no ‘harm’ here,” he said. 

 

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