Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom (BALIF)
Statement Regarding the Trump Administration’s Attacks on Transgender Students
February 23, 2017 – San Francisco, California
We are heartbroken and outraged President Trump’s administration rescinded guidelines that directed schools to allow students to use restrooms and participate in activities that correspond with their gender identity, as well as the Department of Justice's recent withdrawal from a court challenge related to that guidance. These actions signal a complete lack of compassion for some of our most vulnerable members of society: our trans and gender variant youth. These decisions fail to contemplate the scientific facts that supported this guidance and the reasoning applied by our Courts in affirming Title IX protects transgender and gender variant students.
The guidance issued by the Departments of Education and Justice last May was informed by the alarming statistics from multiple social science studies indicating transgender people feel ostracized for their identity and that their high rates of suicide reflect rejection, discrimination, violence, harassment, and the negative life circumstances that result from such treatment. The Obama Administration’s interpretation of Title IX was aligned with mounting case law, as well as our society’s growing understanding of gender and the devastating impact discrimination and oppression has on transgender and gender variant youth. Most importantly, it assured transgender and gender variant students that federal law does, and the federal government will protect them. The guidance signaled acceptance and provided access, factors social scientists have identified as significant in reducing suicide and other negative mental health outcomes among transgender and gender variant youth.
The Trump administration cannot undo a federal statute. The protections of Title IX and the Constitution remain. The battle over these protections will continue in the Courts and BALIF has, and will continue to play an important role in this battle. We will continue to file amici briefs in critical cases related to transgender students, as we did recently in Carcaño v. McCrory, the case challenging H.B. 2, North Carolina’s discriminatory law, and as we will next week to the U.S. Supreme Court in Gloucester County School Board v. G.G. We will continue to support organizations serving LGBTQ youth as we have supported organizations such as LYRIC in the past. We will continue to endorse and support LGBTQ judges on the bench. And we will continue to stand strong, fight for and support all members of our community as we face an onslaught of targeted attacks on our diverse identities and our very existence by this administration.
Click here to see a PDF of the document.