Sen. Kevin Lundberg (R).
On Friday, the Obama administration issued a new directive through the federal Department of Education, establishing guidance for public schools on the matter of providing appropriate access to facilities for transgender students. Politico:
While the Obama administration’s directive on bathroom access for transgender students was praised by supporters as a historic moment for civil rights, the sweeping new rules have re-energized the right — and a top lawmaker in Texas even argues that Donald Trump can use the issue as a springboard to the White House.
The right has been consistently losing culture-war fights in the courts during the Obama era, most significantly in the Supreme Court case last year that legalized gay marriage. Now, conservative governors, state officials, education advocates and parent groups have extra motivation to unify in their revolt against a federal intervention directed by a president they loathe that will affect every public school in the nation…
Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family is all grossed out:
“It’s just an egregious federal overreach,” Candi Cushman, Education Analyst with Focus on the Family, told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann. “You have in one sweeping action the White House setting policy for over 16,000 school districts and 7,000 colleges.”
And she didn’t stop there:
“You have common sense issues of safety for the most vulnerable members of our society,” Cushman said. “We know there are predators out there unfortunately who are looking for loopholes. We’re by no means saying this applies to students or individuals, who identify as transgender in schools, but we are saying there are predators who look for loopholes and what makes us think they’re not going to look at this one?”
Now folks, it’s important to recognize one very basic fact about Obama’s action and the resulting panic attack on the conservative right: there is no “loophole” being created here for predators to “look for.” Nothing about providing appropriate accommodations for transgender citizens creates a “loophole” that would legalize sexual assault or abuse. In fact, the suggestion is deeply offensive to transgender Americans who have already been–surprise!–using the stall next to you for most of, or their whole damned lives without ever causing you a bit of trouble.
But hey, you know, that’s how reasonable people think through questions like these. If you’re not one of those people, you’ve got the Colorado Senate GOP in your corner!
Colorado Senate Assistant Majority Leader Kevin Lundberg (R-Berthoud) today said Colorado should simply ignore today’s “Letter of Guidance” to all schools and colleges from the US Department of Education saying that schools must give transgender students equal access to the restroom of their choice.
“This is absurd,” said Senator Lundberg. “The US Department of Education must not have much to do if they are now spending time on public school bathroom policies in Denver, Danville and Duluth. Plain and simple, this is none of their business and totally beyond Congressional intent in the enactment of Title IX. Therefore, it is a policy Colorado should ignore.”
“This is sheer insanity,” added Senator Kevin Grantham (R-Canon City). “Does the President honestly think he can use executive authority to substitute his opinion over those of local school districts and moms and dads?”
Charles Heatherly, director of policy at the Colorado Senate Majority Office, went even further:
No, its a perversion of law. Tutle [sic-Pols] IX is about sex discrimination.Sexual identity is biological and fuxed [sic-Pols], whereas “gender self-idenitification” is a social construct of Politically Correct academic elites.
Isn’t that great? The only thing is, you could substitute the word “transgender” for “black,” roll this all back a few decades, and suddenly have a very different-sounding press release. After all, it’s none of the federal government’s “business” who gets to use what bathroom in a public school, right? And if “local school districts and moms and dads” don’t want those kids using the same facilities as their kids…why, who are we to tell them differently?
In the not-too-distant future, no one will think twice about this issue, any more than we think about racially desegregated public accommodations. But when we get to that point, history is going to look back at Focus on the Family and Colorado Senate Republicans.
And history is not going to be kind.