Kentucky Latest State To Challenge Federal Transgender Bathroom Rules
Gov. Matt Bevin has announced his administration's intent to join the multi-state lawsuit challenging President Obama's new guidelines outlining accommodation expectations for transgender students.
“The federal government has no authority to dictate local school districts' bathroom and locker room policies,” Bevin said in a media release Friday. “The Obama Administration’s transgender policy ‘guidelines’ are an absurd federal overreach into a local issue.”
Bevin joins officials in a dozen other states, including Texas, Alabama, West Virginia, and Tennessee, who are pushing back against the nonbinding federal directive issued by the Departments of Education and Justice earlier this month.
“Unfortunately, Attorney General Andy Beshear is unwilling to protect Kentucky’s control over local issues. Therefore, my administration will do so by joining this lawsuit," the governor continued.
Under the guidelines public schools are obligated to treat transgender students in accordance with their stated gender identity, regardless of the sex listed on their birth certificate or other documents.
Speaking on the issue, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch has said the guidance "gives administrators, teachers and parents the tools they need to protect transgender students from peer harassment and to identify and address unjust school policies."
Bevin framed his opposition as a defense of the Tenth Amendment, which delegates all powers not outlined in the U.S. Constitution to the states or the people.
Update (4:00 p.m.): Responding to the news, Fairness Campaign director Chris Hartman told WUKY, "We're deeply disappointed Gov. Bevin has decided to join the wrong side of history and the law. This lawsuit is nothing but a political stunt and an attack on transgender students, who are truly among our most vulnerable. There have been no disruptions, no increases in public safety incidents, nor invasions of privacy related to transgender students using the restrooms that match their gender identity."