Obama Demands Public School Principals Do His Transgender Bidding. Trump Absent From Fight.

Conservatives hit back. Trump silent.

By John Zmirak Published on May 13, 2016

Every time we think the culture warriors of the Left have overplayed their hand, conservatives prove to be mistaken — as apparent natural allies melt away, pro-business lobbyists throw us under the nearest bus, and proposals that would have been waved off as crackpot even two years ago are suddenly deemed “mainstream,” while those who resist the juggernaut are labeled extremists. We wonder if that will happen with President Obama’s new executive order mandating that boys who identify as girls be allowed to use the girls’ locker rooms in public schools, and vice versa.

Obama has declared in essence, that biological sex is of no legal significance, and that school officials who recognize and set locker room policy accordingly will be singled out for loss of federal money. It’s as if the ancient heresy of Gnosticism, which despised and denied the body, were now America’s state religion.

Conservative leaders aren’t taking this latest executive overreach lying down. Texas Lieutenant Gov. Dan Patrick spoke out boldly:

“We will not be blackmailed by the president’s 30 pieces of silver,” Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said. “The people of Texas and the Legislature will find a way to find as much of that money as we can if we are forced to.”

Daniel Pipes, a Middle East expert and critic of radical Islam, rarely comments on domestic policy or the culture wars, but he was moved to question the president’s sanity:

Meanwhile, in the world of electoral politics, presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump has stayed silent — having already chosen sides with the transgender lobby when he promised Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner access to the Trump Tower ladies room. Trump’s failure to defend conservative principles on this issue led major pro-marriage activist Maggie Gallagher to break ranks with her employer and join the #NeverTrump camp. Gallagher wrote in National Review:

The organization I work with, the American Principles Project (APP), is now pro-Trump. Many good people, faced with what one of them called the “binary choice” between Trump and Hillary, have no problem choosing Trump. As I wrote last week, Trump has positioned himself as a social conservative. He has promised to appoint good justices and to sign a ban on late-term abortion. I’ve voted before for Republicans (Romney, McCain) whose social conservatism was mostly nominal. What’s different now? Why won’t I join Team Trump?

… President Obama has put in place throughout the federal government the regulatory infrastructure to redefine as the equivalent of Jim Crow racism the understandings of sex and marriage that are held by traditional Christians (and others). He is using the power of the federal government to impose his morality on the whole American people. Huge parts of the GOP are either joining the Left or standing down. This is not a battle about one issue; it’s a battle to make orthodox Christianity illegitimate and unacceptable in America, to punish and stigmatize it. The courage to fight this framing and this infrastructure is priority number one for me. I don’t see how I can tell people they should elect a Republican willing to surrender.

Newsbusters, which monitors liberal bias in media, noted that major news networks soft-pedaled Obama’s use of federal coercion for strong-arming school districts into compliance:

Friday morning all three networks led with the “major development” in public schools after President Obama sent letters to every public school district, ordering them to allow transgender students to use whatever bathroom and locker room they “identify with.” All three networks reported that public schools risk losing their federal funding if they do not comply.  While ABC did report the “looming threat,” language was otherwise soft, in comparison to how the networks characterized North Carolina’s “bathroom bill” as “the new Jim Crow.” With North Carolina, all three networks hammered home the LGBT “growing backlash” against the bill, but for this Obama order, they did everything in their power to downplay or ignore parents and students concerns.

NBC’s Today gave the softest report on the issue, with host Matt Lauer stating that Obama was “directing” schools to “allow transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity”. Correspondent Ron Allen emphasized Obama’s role as an “outspoken advocate for transgender rights” and hyped he was “getting more deeply involved” in the issue. As for backlash? While NBC noted a walkout by students over the issue in 2015, they only added that parents were “confused” and “frustrated” at the lack of “a clear policy on the issue.” An understatement to say the least. [emphasis in original]

Legal analyst Ed Whelan explained in National Review that Obama is distorting the clear letter and intent of the law which he’s invoking, Title IX, a law meant to prevent discrimination based on biological sex:

Pushing the transgender agenda through the entire alphabet of the federal bureaucracy has been a high priority for the administration in President Obama’s second term. So it was that in January 2015 an obscure functionary named James A. Ferg-Cadima, in his temporary capacity as acting deputy assistant secretary at the Department of Education, signed his name to a letter and sent that letter to G.G. (and to various transgender activists). In his letter, Ferg-Cadima made two cursory legal claims on behalf of the department. First, he declared that Title IX’s ban on discrimination on the basis of sex includes a ban on discrimination on the basis of gender identity. Second, he asserted that schools that provide “sex-segregated restrooms, locker rooms, shower facilities, housing, athletic teams and single-sex classes” must “treat transgender students consistent with their gender identity.”

Ponder for a moment some examples of what Ferg-Cadima’s second claim means for schools that receive federal funding. A young man who says his gender identity is female must be offered a college dormitory room with roommates who are women (irrespective of the wishes of those roommates). An athlete who is biologically male in all respects must be allowed to compete for a position on a women’s sports team if he identifies himself as female. A first-grade girl who thinks she’s a boy can use the boys’ bathroom. And, yes, high-school boys who say they’re transgender girls may use the girls’ locker rooms and showers on the same terms, and at the same time, as the girls do — and vice versa, of course, for girls who say they’re transgender boys.

Evangelical radio host and regular Stream commentator Michael Brown calls for national civil disobedience here. My fellow Stream senior editor Rachel Alexander taps her legal background and basic sanity to argue that the Obama directive is both nutty, and unlawful. And occasional Stream contributor Jennifer Hartline boils the matter down this way: Obama: Shut Up, Girls and Let the Boys In — No One Cares if You’re Uncomfortable.”

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