Updated with statements from Massachusetts Attorney General
WASHNGTON DC – President Donald J. Trump Administration rescinded an order Wednesday, by President Barack Obama, which gave public schools the ability to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms of their choice.
In May 2016, the Obama administration had instructed public schools to let transgender students use the bathrooms matching their chosen gender identity.
That presidential administration threatening to withhold funding for schools that did not comply.
But Texas’s Attorney General had challenged the Obama order, and those guidelines were on hold by order of a federal judge. The Attorney General had argued that state should have the authority to make their own decisions and not the federal government.
on Thursday, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey today joined transgender families, LGBTQ advocacy groups, and state legislators to speak out against the Trump Administration’s decision to reverse the federal government’s position on protections for transgender students in our schools.
Healey also highlighted the laws in Massachusetts that protect transgender students from discrimination, including the public accommodations bill signed into law in July 2016 and the guidance from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) on creating a safe and supportive school environment for all.
“In Massachusetts, we have strong laws that protect transgender students from discrimination and harassment, and these laws have not changed,” said Healey on Thursday. “However, the Trump Administration’s action sends a message that discrimination against vulnerable students is acceptable. My message to families in Massachusetts and across this country is simple: if the Trump Administration won’t protect people’s rights, we will.”
“The repeal of the previous administration’s Title IX guidelines is unwarranted and cruel. It places transgender children in danger because of the discomfort that adults feel about these children’s most deeply held identities,” said Mimi Lemay, an advocate and parent of a transgender child. “I am proud to join Attorney General Healey in speaking up for equal access to education for all students, regardless of gender identity.”
In March 2016, the AG’s Office launched the #EveryoneWelcome social media campaign, featuring short video messages from celebrity allies of the transgender community and families from across the state.