“There is some historical context in arguing that something that is discriminatory is a states’ rights issue when in reality we’re arguing about equal protections under the law,” said Shane Windmeyer, Executive Director of Campus Pride.
Published by Inside Higher Education – Feb 22, 2017
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday that the Trump administration will issue new guidance on Title IX protections for transgender students. He also said President Trump viewed protections for transgender students as a states’ rights issue.
The comments came in response to a question during a White House press briefing about reports the White House would rescind the Obama administration’s guidance that sought to bar discrimination against transgender students and ensure they had access to bathrooms of their choice.
“The president has maintained for a long time that this is a states’ rights issue and not one for the federal government,” Spicer said.
He said that the Department of Education and Department of Justice were both working to address the guidance.
Federal courts had already blocked enforcement of the guidance. But rescinding the guidance or issuing new language would reflect the new oversight approach that the Trump administration was widely expected to take.
Shane Windmeyer, executive director of Campus Pride, said the states’ rights argument doesn’t change the reality of what’s necessary for campuses to have a safe learning environment for students. He said that position also echoed arguments made in the past against protections for students of color.
“There is some historical context in arguing that something that is discriminatory is a states’ rights issue when in reality we’re arguing about equal protections under the law,” Windmeyer said.
Campus Pride is the leading national educational organization for LGBTQ and ally college students and campus groups building future leaders and safer, more LGBTQ-friendly colleges and universities. The organization provides resources and services to thousands of college students and nearly 1400 campuses annually. Learn more online at campuspride.org.