Senate Won’t Throw in the Towel on Bathrooms

Barb Wire

Local school boards aren’t the only ones upset that the federal government is trying to do their jobs. So is the U.S. Senate.

A little more than a week since the president’s team sent a blanket directive to every district in America, warning them to open up their bathrooms to anyone or lose federal funds, Republicans are saying “not so fast!” Twenty-five GOP senators, including key committee chairmen, had strong words for Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Education Secretary John King in a letter fighting back on this dangerous mandate to schools and universities.

“Every transgender person,” they write, “is someone’s child and should be treated with respect. But that does not justify a federal executive agency acting as a national school board telling 100,000 public schools how to resolve this issue… It is not appropriate for a federal executive agency to issue ‘guidance’ for every school as if it were the law. Article I of the U.S. Constitution gives Congress the exclusive right to make laws… The Supreme Court, Congress, and the Obama administration itself all have made clear that such guidance does not have the force of law.”

If members wanted to enact this policy, they would have. The reality is, the group writes, it’s not a popular or safe proposition. “During Senate debate last year on the Every Student Succeeds Act, an amendment was offered to do — by statute — what the administration is now trying to enforce in guidance as if it were the law. The Senate voted not to adopt the amendment… Until Congress or the courts settle the federal law, states and school districts are free to devise their own reasonable solutions.”

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And, as states like Arkansas, North Carolina, West Virginia, and Texas have decided, the reasonable solution is respecting students’ privacy and protecting them from the pitfalls of a gender free-for-all.

President Obama’s administration of wannabe lawmakers has been slapped down by plenty of courts for trying to do unilaterally what it couldn’t do legislatively. If the Left wants to make schools the incubators of this radical agenda, they’ll have to persuade America the old fashioned way: democratically! Until then, a growing number of states refuse to be steamrolled by the bullies at the DOJ and DOE. If it costs them a small slice of their education budgets, so be it.

In Nebraska, where Republicans are calling for a law pushing back on the president’s agenda, leaders are willing to take on the NCAA and any other organization that thinks it can coerce the state to forfeit students’ protection for political correctness. State Sen. Bill Kinter said it’s high time to stop taking the Left’s bait on “discrimination” and start acting in the best interest of schools. Just because the Association is threatening to pull the College World Series and other events is no excuse to back down.

“Economic terrorism is not a reason to make laws,” Kinter said. “The NCAA is a bunch of Left-wing loonies.” Governor Pete Ricketts has told reporters that the NCAA is free to act as it sees fit—but then, so is Nebraska. “[What they do] doesn’t impact my thought processes on what we need to do here in Nebraska.”

It is possible to be respectful to everyone without bending to the whims of radical transgender activists.

Meanwhile, President Obama seems incapable of taking the hint that Americans are sick and tired of his LGBT tunnel vision. Instead, he’s stubbornly pressing on, even going so far as to appoint a man who identifies as a woman to his Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

If you haven’t signed on to FRC’s petition calling on Congress to step in and defend our children from the administration’s gender anarchy please do so today. I want to be able to include yours when I take the petitions to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) later this week. Click here to add your name to more than 100,000 Americans’.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Tony Perkins
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law. (Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)

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