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Conservatives Celebrate Trump Reversal of Trans Bathroom 'Overreach'

02-23-2017
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Evangelicals, along with conservative and family groups, are celebrating the Trump administration's decision to reverse President Obama's transgender bathroom directive.

"Some good news from Washington on the transgender bathroom issue! President Donald J. Trump is doing away with Obama's transgender bathroom edict for schools," evangelist Franklin Graham exclaimed on Facebook.

The Obama administration had warned schools they must let students use the restroom, locker room, and showers of their choice, no matter the gender on their birth certificate. The threat to schools: If you don't comply, you may lose your federal funds. 

"Americans, let the White House know how important safety, privacy, and common sense rulings like this are to you and your family!" Graham continued.

Ryan T. Anderson of the conservative policy organization, The Heritage Foundation, also praised the move.

"The Trump administration is doing the right thing in correcting Obama's unlawful overreach, which imposed a one-sided solution on all 50 states," Anderson wrote. "Parents and teachers in local schools now can work to find win-win solutions that protect the dignity, privacy, and safety of all students."

On Wednesday, the Justice and Education departments said public schools no longer needed to follow the Obama directive. 

In a letter sent to schools across the country, the Trump administration states it "has decided to withdraw and rescind" Obama's directive "in order to further and more completely consider the legal issues involved."

"This is an issue best solved at the state and local level," Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said in a statement. "Schools, communities and families can find -- and in many cases have found -- solutions that protect all students."

Social conservatives are pleased with Trump for honoring a campaign pledge.

"The federal government has absolutely no right to strip parents and local schools of their rights to provide a safe learning environment for children," said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, according to The New York Times.

The American Family Association also supports the rollback. This week, AFA asked its supporters to send an email to the Trump administration, calling on it to rescind the directive.

"During the campaign, Vice President Mike Pence said both he and President Trump believe 'the transgender bathroom issue can be resolved with common sense at the local level,'" AFA President Tim Wildmon had said. 

"Mr. Pence also said that 'Washington has no business intruding in our local schools. Indeed, education is a matter that the U.S. Constitution leaves for each state to decide,'" Wildmon continued. "AFA couldn't agree more, and we are encouraged by the recent actions of the Trump administration."

The non-profit legal organization, Alliance Defending Freedom, also spoke in favor of the new decision.

"President Trump, Secretary DeVos, and General Sessions have done the right thing for the privacy, safety, and dignity of young students across America," said ADF Senior Counsel Gary McCaleb. 

"No longer will federal officials distort federal law that is meant to equalize educational opportunities for women, and no longer will they force local officials to intermingle boys and girls within private areas like locker rooms, showers, hotel rooms on school trips, and restrooms," he continued.

"Student privacy in those facilities must be protected, and by restoring the right understanding of Title IX, our nation also restores common sense: School officials should be free to protect their student's privacy, safety, and dignity," McCaleb said.

The Obama administration issued the transgender bathroom directive, after determining that Title IX, the federal sex discrimination law also applies to gender identity. 

The conservative grassroots organization, Faith & Freedom Coalition, had disagreed with President Obama, also weighing in on the reversal.

"Thank you President Trump for your decision to uphold the rule of law and reverse the Obama administration's directive that put the privacy and safety of public school children at risk," said Timothy Head, the group's executive director. 

"The Obama administration usurped the will of the people and imposed their far left ideology on public schools and universities through coercion by the Departments of Education and Justice and now this overreaching federal mandate is being thrown on the trash heap of history where it belongs," he continued. 

Meanwhile, transgender rights advocates say they'll overcome the Trump administration decision.

"We're not discouraged. And we're going to keep fighting like we have been and keep fighting for the right thing," said transgender teen Gavin Grimm. 

Grimm filed a lawsuit against his Virginia high school over its bathroom policy. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear his case next month.

Nancy Haque, co-executive director of Basic Rights Oregon, said the reversal sends "a message that something is wrong with them (transgender teens), which is harmful."

The letter from the Departments of Justice and Education said anti-bullying protections for students will not be hindered by the rollback of the directive.
 

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