The Obama administration’s stance on transgender bathroom access is seen as a civil rights victory to advocates, but the new rules have riled the right. Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick says this issue could fuel Donald Trump’s campaign, acting as a springboard to the White House.
Conservatives have been on the losing end of many culture-war fights in the courts under Obama’s administration. Perhaps the biggest blow was the Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage. Now, influential conservatives are using the recent transgender bathroom rules as a platform to unite the fight against the federal law – and the president they loathe.
The Texas Lt. Gov. called it the “biggest issue facing families and schools in America since prayer was taken out of public schools.” His statement came just hours after the White House’s letter was released.
On Friday, the Department of Justice and the Department of Education wrote a letter to public school districts across America, notifying the schools that transgender students have civil rights protections under Title IX. The Title IX law prohibits gender-based discrimination in school activities and programs, and this includes transgender access to locker rooms, bathrooms and other facilities that align with gender identity. The position is one that conservatives are “deeply offended” by.
Similar to its threats to North Carolina, the Obama administration threatened to withhold federal funding from states, districts and schools that do not comply with the law.
Dan Patrick says the administration’s stance on transgender rights will cause a divide in the country, and Trump can use this issue to defeat Hillary Clinton in November’s general election.