President Barack Obama defended his decision to open up bathrooms to students of both sexes based on preference, citing his religious faith as a reason he decided to do it.
“My reading of scripture tells me that that [the] Golden Rule is pretty high up there in terms of my Christian belief,” he said during a town hall in Elkhart, Indiana.
Local resident Arvis Dawson questioned Obama during the event, wondering why the president decided to make it such an issue.
“What happened and what continues to happen is you have transgender kids in schools and they get bullied and they get ostracized and it’s tough for them,” Obama said, saying that in the past, students were forced to suffer silently.
Obama insisted repeatedly that he wasn’t trying to make it a big issue, but that schools around the country were struggling with the proper procedure on the issue.
“It’s not like I woke up one day and I said, man, you know what we really need to do is let’s start working on high school bathrooms,” he insisted, saying he was already more focused on ISIS.
He explained that transgender students “might not even feel comfortable going to the bathroom” which was a “tough situation” that he wanted to alleviate.
“I have profound respect for everybody’s religious beliefs on this, but if you’re at a public school, the question is, how do we just make sure that, children are treated with kindness,” he concluded.