4th Circuit Court Of Appeals Denies Stay Motion On Transgender Rights Ruling

A three-judge panel from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals just denied the stay motion, by a vote of 2-1, filed Wednesday by Virginia’s Gloucester County School Board, which seeks to ignore the federal government’s mandate on transgender student rights.

That filing two days ago had triggered an automatic stay on the pro-trans April order while the Court considered their demand.

Equality Case Files has today’s ruling. The Fourth Circuit Court has jurisdiction over Virginia, West Virginia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.

North Carolina’s anti-LGBT legislation HB2 could be struck down via this case.

Stay tuned.

Eleven States File Suit Against Obama Administration Over Guidance Protecting Transgender Students

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton

Eleven states led by Texas’ Attorney General Ken Paxton have filed suit against the Obama administration regarding federal guidance that says transgender students are protected under Title IX – the federal law that bans discrimination in public education.

The Advocate has the details:

The suit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, against the Justice Department, the Education Department, the Labor Department, and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, reports The Washington Post.

The states joining Texas include Alabama, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Utah, Georgia. The Arizona Department of Education, Maine Gov. Paul LePage, and school districts in Texas and Arizona are also plaintiffs in the suit.

The guidance issued by the Department of Education and Department of Justice detailed guidelines explaining the obligations that schools receiving public funding have to their transgender students.

These obligations include respecting the gender identity of transgender students by using the student’s preferred name and pronouns, and ensuring them access to sports teams, educational opportunities, and sex-segregated facilities that correspond with their gender identity, according to a letter sent Friday to public K-12 schools nationwide, as well as to colleges and universities that receive federal funding.

The letter from the Obama administration plainly defines a school’s responsibilities to its trans students under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in schools that receive any public funding.

“This prohibition encompasses discrimination based on a student’s gender identity, including discrimination based on a student’s transgender status,” reads the letter. It goes on to explain that the federal agencies consider a student’s gender identity to be the sole determinant of that student’s sex, for the purposes of Title IX protections.

“This means that a school must not treat a transgender student differently from the way it treats other students of the same gender identity,” explains the letter, indicating that everyone has a gender identity, regardless of whether they identify as transgender or cisgender (nontrans).

The Human Rights Campaign issued a statement which read in part:

Today, HRC blasted Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton regarding media reports that he will launch a shameful attack on transgender youth across the state and the nation. Paxton, who currently faces three felony fraud indictments for violating state securities laws, civil fraud charges, and a separate investigation from the Texas State Bar for encouraging clerks to ignore the Supreme Court’s ruling on nationwide marriage equality, has repeatedly attacked LGBT people in an effort to score political points.

“Ken Paxton has already disgraced himself and his office by undermining the rule of law and shamefully encouraging state officials to ignore the U.S. Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision last June. Now, he’s gone so far as to attack transgender youth, whom he has a responsibility to protect as Attorney General,” said HRC Communications Director Jay Brown. “Countless schools all across the country have policies in place that ensure transgender students are safe, protected from discrimination and can live authentic lives. Ken Paxton’s use of taxpayer resources to dismantle such protections is a reckless and expensive abdication of his responsibilities, and he should be held accountable.”

Megyn Kelly Asks Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick About Transgender Bathroom Rights: “Is This A Problem?”

Fox News’ Megyn Kelly interviewed virulently anti-LGBT Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick last night regarding his opposition to newly issued guidance on transgender students rights in public schools by the Education & Justice Departments.

Kelly attempted to move Patrick past his talking points towards answering her questions, rather than give him airtime for spouting dangerous lies and myths about alleged “transgender bathroom predators.” But Patrick continued to diminish the value of trans students by saying they make up a tiny part of the population.

At one point, Patrick mentioned his role in defeating Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance last year, saying the legislation would have “allowed men in ladies’ rooms”, but Kelly was quick to challenge him. “Allow men in ladies’ rooms or allow trans women in ladies’ rooms?” she asked.

Patrick quickly deflected, saying, “Megyn, you’re missing this.” But Megyn wasn’t having it. “I don’t think I’m missing anything,” she replied.

Watch below.


Anti-Transgender Activist Has No Answer When Asked What Bathroom Trans Folks Should Use

Last night, Travis Weber of the anti-LGBT Family Research Council and Professor Jennifer Finney Boylan of E! network’s “I am Cait” debated transgender bathroom rights in America on MSNBC’s “Hardball” with Chris Matthews.

Poor Travis was not prepared for the most basic question of transgender rights these days: If a transgender woman shouldn’t use the ladies room, what bathroom SHOULD they use?

The FRC spokesman was literally tongue-tied. Matthews, pointing out the obvious, said again and again, “You’re dodging the question.”

Excerpt from the transcript via Media Matters:

CHRIS MATTHEWS (HOST): Travis, tell Jenny what bathroom she should use.

TRAVIS WEBER: Well —

MATTHEWS: Which one should she use?

WEBER: Yeah, I mean I’m not sure, um —

MATTHEWS: Well just answer that question.

WEBER: I think people should be —

MATTHEWS: She said she would not be comfortable or not cause such problem if she walked into a men’s room. Should she walk into a men’s room?

WEBER: I think we can do things the way we’ve done them for decades, and people could use bathrooms according to biological sex with specific accommodation made for people who have a genuine issue. If we look at the North Carolina law, it made an accommodation. People are not happy with that, however. And now the Obama administration —

MATTHEWS: Let’s just talk about transgender people. What should a transgender person who identifies as a woman do? What bathroom should they go to? Just keep it simple.

WEBER: Yeah well there’s an issue of privacy concerns.

MATTHEWS: See no, you can’t answer the question, can you? What should they do?

WEBER: They can use the bathroom of their biological sex, except when there’s a genuine issue and an accommodation can be made.

Matthews did not let it go, though. He went back to Weber more than once,: “What should Jenny do if she was visiting North Carolina right now? Should she go to the men’s room? Should she? You’re dodging the toughest question, which is what do you want people to behave like?” He then asked, “Can you answer the question? Should Jenny go to the men’s room or the ladies room?”

Weber had nothing.

Again, Matthews asked the question Weber couldn’t answer: “It just seems odd to me that you’d want Jenny to show up in men’s room you go to. You think that would be appropriate? You think that would be appropriate? It’s a simple question, should Jenny go to your men’s room? Yes or no.” When Weber again did not answer the question, Matthews said, “See, you’re dodging this question.”

See, the haters can mock and belittle transgender folks when it’s through a press release or talking on Fox News, but when you have a transgender woman on air with you – who CLEARLY should not be using the men’s room – you got nothing. Just your moralistic fear and hate.

Professor Boylan, much to her credit, handled the segment without raising her voice or yelling. She was quite persuasive.

Target CEO Brian Cornell: We Are Not Backing Down On Transgender Policy

Target CEO Brian Cornell

Brian Cornell, CEO of Target Corp. told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that the super-department store will stick with its policy of allowing transgender customers to choose the bathroom they wish to use.

Cornell also announced the company is expanding the number of family restrooms in its stores from 1,400 to 1,800 for people who worry about the mixing of sexes in bathrooms.

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports:

“We want to make sure we provide a welcoming environment for all of our guests,” Cornell said. “One that is safe, one that is comfortable.”

“Everyone deserves to feel like they belong,” Target said in its initial statement. “And you’ll always be accepted, respected and welcomed at Target.”

“We took a stance,” he said. “We’re going to continue to embrace our belief in diversity and inclusion, just how important that is to our company. But we’re also going to make sure our focus on safety is unwavering.”

He noted Target took a lot of criticism in the 1960s when it was one of the first retailers to use black models in its advertising.

“Back then, it wasn’t well received,” he said. “We had a lot of tough feedback. But sitting here today, we know we made the right decision.”

Fourth Circuit Court Of Appeals Rules Title IX Protects Transgender People Against Discrimination

A 2-1 ruling from the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the Department of Education’s interpretation of Title IX of the Education Amendments which bans sex discrimination.

The Obama administration has pushed for years that, under this existing law, transgender discrimination is sex discrimination, and thereby covered under Title IX.

Chris Geidner of Buzzfeed writes:

The Gloucester County School Board, however, passed a policy that restricts students to restrooms reflecting their “biological gender.” The transgender student who was targeted by the policy, Gavin Grimm, brought this lawsuit in federal court, seeking an injunction against enforcement of the board’s policy.

The appeals court had heard the arguments in January, and Tuesday’s ruling is the first such ruling on the Obama administration’s policy — which it also has advanced regarding the sex discrimination ban under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Among the states included in the 4th Circuit is North Carolina, which recently passed a law limiting restroom use in government facilities — including schools and universities — to that which corresponds with a person’s “biological sex.” The ACLU, which is backing Grimm’s suit, also has brought suit against the North Carolina law.

The appeals court first held that the language of regulations implementing Title IX were ambiguous as to transgender restroom use and then finding that the department’s interpretation of those regulations — allowing transgender students to use the restroom that corresponds with their gender identity — was a legitimate interpretation.

“We conclude that the Department’s interpretation of its own regulation … as it relates to restroom access by transgender individuals, is entitled to … deference and is to be accorded controlling weight in this case,” Judge Henry Floyd wrote for the court.

The appeals court did not, however, grant the preliminary injunction Grimm is seeking, instead sending the case back to the district court to reconsider his request.

Did I mention that North Carolina is in the 4th Circuit? Did I mention that federal law trumps state laws?

UPDATE – North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory got the memo. Check his response below:

Massachusetts Gov. Baker Booed By Trangender Activists At LGBT Event

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker

Republican Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker was booed off the stage by LGBT activists when he hemmed and hawed about whether he supports rights for transgender folks.

Via the Boston Globe:

More than 1,000 business leaders packed the hotel ballroom for the 10th Annual Boston Spirit LGBT Executive Networking Night, hosted by Boston Spirit magazine, in the hopes of hearing Baker either declare support for the transgender bill or at least pledge not to veto the measure if it reaches his desk.

But Baker infuriated many in the crowd, some of whom held signs that read “Trans Rights Now,” when he hedged.

Baker said he would “make sure I talk to all the parties involved” if the legislation comes to him. He also did not say whether he would veto the bill.

The bill in question, known as the public accommodations bill, would prohibit bias against transgender people in restaurants, shopping malls, and other public areas.

I have to say – you attend an LGBT networking event, and you can’t offer clear, strong support to the people you’re addressing?

How embarrassing for what is typically a very progressive state to have such a weak leader regarding LGBT rights. #Sad