11 states sue Obama administration over new transgender policy

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Texas and 10 other states are suing the Obama administration over federal guidance instructing public schools to give transgender individuals access to the bathrooms and locker rooms of the sex they identify with.

The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas on Wednesday against the Education, Justice and Labor Departments, states that the duty of the Federal Executive is to enforce the law of the land, not rewrite it.

The plaintiffs, which also includes two school districts in Texas and Arizona, argue that the Obama administration “conspired to turn workplaces and educational settings across the country into laboratories for a massive social experiment, flouting the democratic process.”

Texas Attorney General Paxton, speaking at a press conference, called the transgender policy “just the latest example of the current administration’s attempts to accomplish by executive fiat what they couldn’t accomplish through the democratic process” in Congress. “By forcing through his policies by executive action, President Obama excluded the voice of the people. We stand today to ensure those voices are heard,” he said.

The plaintiffs include Texas, Alabama, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Utah, Georgia, Maine Governor Paul LePage, the Arizona Department of Education, the Arizona Unified School District and the Texas Harrold Independent School District.

The Justice Department issued a letter earlier this month with guidelines to its new Title IX policy. The guidelines say that all recipients of federal funding must treat individuals according to their “internal sense of gender.” Although the letter does not have the force of law, it contains an implicit threat to public schools that ignore the government’s instructions. Those schools would risk lawsuits and a loss of federal aid.

According to the letter, schools are required to treat a student’s “gender identity” as their “sex” in order to comply with Title IX.

In the past two years, the Obama administration has specified that sex discrimination covers discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

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