Thursday, February 23, 2017

Trump Regime Rescinds Protections for Transgender Students

When Donald Trump meet with a who's who of right wing Christian extremists in June of 2016, he made many promises in order to win the backing of these individuals and their organizations.  Among those promises were the rescission of transgender protections, passage of the First Amendment Defense Act that when passed will grant Christofascists the right to discriminate at will, and the rolling back of same sex marriage rights.  Yesterday, Trump - or as I call him, Der Trumpenf├╝hrer - delivered on the first of those promises by rescinding Obama administration protections to transgender students and by extension transgender adults as well. To my "friends" who voted for Trump, all I can say is "I told you so" and that they are complicit in this act and in what will follow.  The blood of those who will choose suicide as discrimination increases is on their hands as much as Trumps and the less than "godly" Christians who sought these measures.  The one irony in this foul move was that even Betsy DeVos, a woman with a long history of funding anti-LGBT hatred, opposed the move.  Here are highlights from the New York Times on this triumph of hatred:
President Trump on Wednesday rescinded protections for transgender students that had allowed them to use bathrooms corresponding with their gender identity, overruling his own education secretary and placing his administration firmly in the middle of the culture wars that many Republicans have tried to leave behind.
In a joint letter, the top civil rights officials from the Justice Department and the Education Department rejected the Obama administration’s position that nondiscrimination laws require schools to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms of their choice.
The question of how to address the “bathroom debate,” as it has become known, opened a rift inside the Trump administration, pitting Education Secretary Betsy DeVos against Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Mr. Sessions, who had been expected to move quickly to roll back the civil rights expansions put in place under his Democratic predecessors, wanted to act decisively because of two pending court cases that could have upheld the protections and pushed the government into further litigation.
But Ms. DeVos initially resisted signing off and told Mr. Trump that she was uncomfortable because of the potential harm that rescinding the protections could cause transgender students, according to three Republicans with direct knowledge of the internal discussions.
Mr. Sessions, who has opposed expanding gay, lesbian and transgender rights, pushed Ms. DeVos to relent. After getting nowhere, he took his objections to the White House because he could not go forward without her consent. Mr. Trump sided with his attorney general, the Republicans said, and told Ms. DeVos in a meeting in the Oval Office on Tuesday that he wanted her to drop her opposition. And Ms. DeVos, faced with the alternative of resigning or defying the president, agreed to go along.
Ms. DeVos’s unease was evident in a strongly worded statement she released on Wednesday night, in which she said she considered it a “moral obligation” for every school in America to protect all students from discrimination, bullying and harassment.
Gay rights supporters made their displeasure clear. Outside the White House, several hundred people protested the decision, chanting, “No hate, no fear, trans students are welcome here.”
Individual schools will remain free to let transgender students use the bathrooms with which they are most comfortable. And the effect of the administration’s decision will not be immediate because a federal court had already issued a nationwide injunction barring enforcement of the Obama order.
[I]t showed how Mr. Trump, who has taken a more permissive stance on gay rights and same-sex marriage than many of his fellow Republicans, is bowing to pressure from the religious right . . .
[S]upporters of transgender rights said the Trump administration was acting recklessly and cruelly. “The consequences of this decision will no doubt be heartbreaking,” said Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign. “This isn’t a states’ rights issue; it’s a civil rights issue.”
While Wednesday’s order significantly rolls back transgender protections, it does include language stating that schools must protect transgender students from bullying, a provision Ms. DeVos asked for, one person with direct knowledge of the process said. . . . was said to have voiced her concern about the high rates of suicide among transgender students. In one 2016 study by the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, for instance, 30 percent reported a history of at least one suicide attempt.
Mr. Trump appears to have been swayed by conservatives in his administration who reminded him that he had promised during the campaign to leave the question of bathroom use to the states. . . . . Trump’s decisions in office have been consistently conservative on social issues. And he has shown considerable deference to the religious right, naming many religious conservatives to top cabinet posts and pledging to fight for religious freedom protections and restrictions on abortion.
The dispute has underscored the influence that Mr. Sessions, an early and ardent supporter of Mr. Trump, is likely to exercise over domestic policy. As someone who has a long record of opposing efforts to broaden federal protections on a range of matters under his purview — immigration, voting rights and gay rights, for example — he has moved quickly to set the Justice Department on a strikingly different course than his predecessors in the Obama administration.
Perhaps went contraception becomes illegal - a goal for many Christofascists - intellectually lazy Trump supporters who failed to educate themselves on what they were voting for will wake up and realize that by falling for Trump's racism and xenophobia they voted against their own interests, both economic and personal. 

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