Donald Trump’s education secretary opposed changing President Barack Obama’s pro-transgender policy, according to a report in the New York Times, even though Obama’s rules would have exposed the nation’s single-sex institutions and civic groups to crippling lawsuits by gay advocacy groups.
But Attorney General Jeff Sessions prevailed in the closed-door dispute, and with aid from Trump, persuaded Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to support a reform of the Obama’s pro-transgender policy.
The reform, which may be unveiled tomorrow, will junk Obama’s May 2016 directive which effectively declares that children can change their sex by simply declaring they have the “gender identity” of the other sex. That rule, if imposed nationwide by judges, would give federal police power to the nation’s small population of “transgender” men and women, and would prevent Americans from assembling in single-sex groups and institutions — such as athletic leagues and shower rooms — or from expressing their preference for single-sex institutions.
Critics say that the endorsement of “gender identity” by federal judges would also kill laws and civic practices which evolved to help the two equal and different sexes complement each other in a heterosexual society built on families and child rearing. That anti-heterosexual process has already started in the states and has forced the Boy Scouts to accept girls.
According to the New York Times, DeVos managed to ensure that the new policy includes an indirect federal endorsement of the idea that children have a right to have school officials support their desire to live as members of the other sex. The new policy, says the New York Times, declares that “Schools must ensure that transgender students, like all students, are able to learn in a safe environment.” The future courtroom impact of this endorsement is unclear.
A very small proportion of Americans tries to live as members of the opposite sex. For example, only about 1-in-2,400 Americans have changed their names from one sex to the other, according to a study of the 2010 census.
On Tuesday, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the administration has decided to let states decide how to handle the demand for legal rights for people who wish to live as members of the opposite sex. “So while we have further guidance coming out on this, I think that all you have to do is look at what the president’s view has been for a long time, that this is not something the federal government should be involved in, that this is a states’ rights issue,” he said.
On Wednesday, Spicer downplayed the reported conflict over DeVos’ support for the claim of “gender identity.”
“There’s no daylight between anybody — between the president, between any of the secretaries,” he told reporters at the midday press conference.
I think there’s been some discussion between the timing of the issuance and recommendations — or between the exact wording. But as far as the conclusions go, I’ve made this clear and the president’s made it clear throughout the campaign that he is a firm believer of states’ rights and that certain issues like this are not best dealt with at the federal level.
The New York Times released only a small fragment of Trump’s pending policy document:
School administrators, parents and students have expressed varying views on the legal issues arising in this setting. They have also struggled to understand and apply the statements of policy and guidance.
Numerous states are already debating how sex should be defined. In North Carolina, for example, the GOP-drafted HB2 law says sex is determined by biology, and that people can change their legal sex after surgery.
That clear biology-based distinction is strongly opposed by gay advocacy groups, who say government should enforce individuals’ flexible “gender identity” preferences. The gay groups helped lead an economic boycott of the state in 2016.
Also, Texas is leading a coalition of states which has persuaded a lower-court judge to freeze Obama’s May directive.
The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a lawsuit from a young woman in Virginia who wants the federal government to order school officials — and the youths in her school — to agree that she is a he, even in science class. The court has not revealed where it stands on the “gender identity” issue, but in 2015, the Court changed the definition of marriage nationwide so that states could not define marriage as a mixed-sex relationship.
Since Trump’s election, Obama has twice admitted that his unpopular transgender policy helped defeat Hillary Clinton. Less than one-quarter of Americans support the “gender-identity” plan pushed by gay groups and by Obama, which would allow transgender activists to sue single-sex institutions — such as sports leagues, public shower-rooms, and women’s shelters — until they treat both biological sexes as interchangeable.
To read more Breitbart coverage about the clash between “gender identity” and heterosexual society, click here.
Follow Neil Munro on Twitter @NeilMunroDC.