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Trump administration refuses to defend transgender students

Lady Liberty knows how to fight Donald Trump in this editorial cartoon from Rob Sheridan. Photo: Rob Sheridan.

The Trump administration has decided it will not challenge a nationwide injunction that prevents transgender students from using school bathrooms and other facilities that correspond with their gender identity — a significant reversal from the Obama administration, which had challenged the the order.

The Justice Department was scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday, but withdrew its challenge on February 10, the New York Times reports.

“The parties are currently considering how best to proceed in this appeal,” the Justice Department said in a legal brief to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the Times reports.

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The injunction was issued in August by Judge Reed O’Connor of the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Texas as part of a lawsuit filed by more than a dozen states over the Obama administration’s position that Title IX, the federal law that bans sex discrimination in schools, protects transgender students.

According to the Obama Justice Department

, transgender students have access to facilities like bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identity, a practice that freaks out social conservatives. They believe that allowing transgender students to use those facilities poses a threat to the privacy and safety of other students — Even though no evidence exists to support that claim.

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Mara Keisling, the executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, called the move a “callous attack” on “the dignity and safety of transgender students,” the Times reports.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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