LGBT groups urge Trump not to scrap transgender protections

Wed. February 15, 2017 10:23 AM by Carlos Santoscoy

Several LGBT groups are calling on the Trump administration to keep in place guidance that protects transgender students.

Last week, the Department of Justice withdrew its objection to an injunction that blocked government guidance issued by the Department of Education on allowing transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice. The Obama administration had asked an appeals court to limit the scope of the injunction to the 12 states challenging the guidance. The Trump administration withdrew that request on Friday.

(Related: Trump administration signals it may abandon effort to protect transgender students.)

In a letter addressed to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, three LGBT groups, the National Center for Transgender Equality, GLSEN and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), called on the new administration to keep the policy in place.

"The Departments' guidance documents help educational institutions understand and comply with the law," the groups wrote. "Under Title IX, all forms of gender-based discrimination are prohibited unless specifically exempted by statute. This includes sexual violence, sexual harassment, and bullying and harassment based on gender. It also includes discrimination against the hundreds of thousands of students who were assigned one gender at birth but who live and attend school as another."

Withdrawal of this critical guidance would represent a "major retreat" from commitments made by DeVos to "act justly and be compassionate" after her confirmation, the groups added.

A spokesman for the Justice Department acknowledged they had received the letter but did not comment.

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