This evening the Trump administration officially rescinded federal guidance issued by the Departments of Justice and Education last year that instructs public schools on how to comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. The guidance, which was legally non-binding but based on growing legal precedent, instructed schools to allow transgender students access to restrooms that align with their gender identity.
The co-chairs of Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination – San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, and Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney – released the following statement on behalf of the coalition in response to the news:
“Today’s announcement from the Trump administration shows a lack of compassion and understanding for millions of young people around the country who are simply trying to be themselves at school. Rescinding this guidance does not and cannot take away students’ rights, but it sends a cruel and harmful message that puts transgender students’ well-being and safety at risk. As mayors, we will continue to support school districts in our cities that are protecting transgender students from discrimination and providing the best possible environment for them to receive an education. All students, including transgender youth, should have an equal opportunity at school and to succeed in their education.”
School districts across the country encompassing millions of students have had protections in place for transgender students for years without incident. The administration’s decision to rescind the guidance has no impact on schools that are already doing the right thing – they can and will continue to protect transgender students. Federal laws that are used to protect transgender students have not changed, and school districts across the country must still comply with the law. This means that schools that have protected the rights of transgender students should continue to do so and schools that have discriminated against transgender students will still face liability in court. The meaning of Title IX cannot be changed by the Department of Education, and neither the revocation of the guidance nor the department’s new position alters the substantive protections of the federal statute.
Mayors Against LGBT Discrimination is a a broad-based, nonpartisan coalition comprised of local officials who support equal protections and fair treatment for all LGBT people, launched at the U.S. Conference of Mayors last month in Washington, DC. The coalition currently includes 229 mayors from 46 states and the District of Columbia.
For more information, visit http://www.mayorslgbt.org.