The Obama administration plans to issue a directive Friday requiring all public schools to give transgender students access to the restroom that matches their gender identity, The New York Times reported.
The decree, which will be signed by officials in the Departments of Justice and Education, comes at a time when the Obama administration is in a battle with North Carolina on the issue of transgender bathroom use.
While the directive lacks the force of law, the threat is nonetheless implied. Those public school districts that fail to comply could be the subject of a lawsuit or loss of federal funding.
If nothing else, the Obama administration could be nicknamed the rainbow regime. The Times reported:
After supporting the rights of gay people to marry, allowing them to serve openly in the military and prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating against them, the administration is wading into the battle over bathrooms and siding with transgender people.
“No student should ever have to go through the experience of feeling unwelcome at school or on a college campus,” John B. King Jr., the secretary of the Department of Education, said in a statement to the Times.
“We must ensure that our young people know that whoever they are or wherever they come from, they have the opportunity to get a great education in an environment free from discrimination, harassment and violence.”
This week the Justice Department and North Carolina sued one another over that state’s law restricting public bathrooms, shower and locker facilities to the sex of a person’s birth.
North Carolina’s court documents called the Justice Department’s lawsuit “an attempt to unilaterally rewrite long-established federal civil rights laws in a manner that is wholly inconsistent with the intent of Congress and disregards decades of statutory interpretation by the courts.”