Obama defends sweeping trans equality rules: ‘We’re talking about kids … they are vulnerable”

obama trans rightsLEXIE CANNES STATE OF TRANS — President Barack Obama: “I think it’s part of our obligation as a society to make sure everybody is treated fairly and our kids are all loved and protected.

Last week’s sweeping transgender equality order to all school districts from the Obama Administration came on the heels of legal showdown between North Carolina and the U.S. Justice Department. The order insists that school districts follow federal law or lose federal funding. Further, the order tightens up restrictions for state agencies who get federal funds from Department of Health and Human Services via Affordable Care Act — provide trans equality, or lose it. Likewise, the order clarifies protections for the disabled and non English speakers.

More of President Obama comments in an interview with Buzzfeed news:

“We’re talking about kids, and anybody who’s been in school, been in high school, who’s been a parent, I think should realize that kids who are sometimes in the minority — kids who have a different sexual orientation or are transgender — are subject to a lot of bullying, potentially they are vulnerable. I think that it is part of our obligation as a society to make sure that everybody is treated fairly, and our kids are all loved, and that they’re protected and that their dignity is affirmed.”

“We said, ‘It is our view that you should try to treat these kids with dignity,’ ” . . . “There are school districts who have been wrestling with this problem and have, we think, done a good job in accommodating them in a way that is good for everybody, and so you can learn from these best practices. This is what we are advising. . . . “Ultimately, depending on how these other lawsuits go, courts will affirm or reject how we see the issue.”

The Obama Administration should be commended for taking this momentous route to fix many of the issues and woes that ills trans people today. While many of these issues will ultimately be resolved in the courts and Obama hints towards that, the fact of the matter is we are several years ahead in the trans rights department today than we were two weeks ago.

Detractors, of course, are not standing by idly. A sampling, all Republicans, of course:

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott last week: “I announced today that Texas is fighting this. Obama can’t rewrite the Civil Rights Act. He’s not a King.” This week Abbot told FOX News: “The president is turning the Constitution on its head. He’s trying to cram down as many parts of his liberal agenda on the United States of America as he possibly can” before leaving office in January.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick: “We will not yield to blackmail from the president of the United States.”

Port Neches-Groves Schools (Texas) Superintendent Rodney Cavness: “I got news for President Barack Obama. He ain’t my president and he can’t tell me what to do. That letter is going straight to the paper shredder.”

Alabama state Rep. Will Ainsworth: “Dressing like a pirate doesn’t make you a pirate, dressing like an astronaut doesn’t make you an astronaut, and dressing like the opposite sex doesn’t make you a man or a woman.”

Detractors appear on-the-air:

Last week Lt. Gov. Patrick appeared on All In With Chris Hayes, Patrick dodged simple questions asked by Hayes about what the term transgender means until finally admitting he couldn’t answer it according to a report in Towleroad. After a few additional questions about whether trans people really exist, and complaints received from parents, Patrick was set off: “Chris, I feel you’re kind of hostile to the issue. I’m just trying to have a conversation here. You don’t kind of have to take me on.”

On MSNBC’s Hardball the Family Research Council’s Travis Weber dodged host Chris Matthews’ questions about which bathroom a trans woman should she use. Frustrated Matthews finally said: “You can’t answer the question, can you?” Later, Weber brought up “abuses” Matthews response: “When has that ever happened?” Weber then cited an unrelated case in another country. Matthew’s response to that: “That’s the best you can do?”


President Obama clearly put transgender rights on the top of his legacy bucket list as his final term in office winds up. Thanks, Obama!

My article on the Justice Department’s showdown with North Carolina: https://lexiecannes.com/2016/05/09/ag-loretta-lynch-we-see-you-we-stand-with-you-and-we-will-do-everything-we-can-to-protect-you-going-forward/

Obama defends directive: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/17/us/politics/obama-defends-transgender-directive-for-school-bathrooms.html?_r=0

Obama‘s directive: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/obama-administration-schools-allow-transgender-students-use-bathroom-choice-n573621

Pdf of Obama‘s directive to schools: http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/MSNBC/Sections/NEWS/Dear%20Colleague%20Letter%20on%20Transgender%20Students.pdf

Other sources: New Civil Rights Movement, FOX News, KBMT-TV, Raw Story, The Advocate, al.com News, Towleroad.

obama trans rights

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Categories: Discrimination, Equality, Civil Rights, Policy, Administrative, Transgender, Transsexual, Trans

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7 replies

  1. Yay for president Obama, and yay for us!
    I recall early in his first term the partisan hostility began and the birther attacks while I listened to WVCY Christian radio in a religious homeless shelter pretransition. I was there trying the religious cure. Once again this concept failed me. Three years later I began transition. I also had become progressive. I am light years away from the hostility and suspicion I had toward our president. He has become my hero for his contribution to civil rights and dignity for transgender people. I will always mourn the obstructionism he has faced as president and the constant personal attacks too.

  2. Going to be so Sad to see him leave President Obama has done so much for us and for the country. Hope the next one will do the same.

  3. A girl with a penis is still a boy! My daughters should have to see a penis in the girls restrooms, lockers or showers! Trans kids need all the therapy they can get! Genders are defined at birth! Hormones are triggered at puberty! Why so much confusion? Studies show Trans people have a high rate of depression before and after their transformation! Get them the help they need, Keep trying to find a good therapist! Really!

    • I’m afraid you’re misinformed on every point you’re trying to make. Look up “intersex”. Any “depression” occurs because of society’s behavior towards trans people (you know, people like you), not because they are trans. And finally, if your daughters are going around staring at other people’s body parts in bathrooms. they’re the ones with problems.


  1. Trans equality foes spying on bathrooms at Target; Fallout hits close to home – LEXIE CANNES STATE OF TRANS
  2. Here’s a fella who is disappointed there hasn’t been trans people gunned down in bathrooms – LEXIE CANNES STATE OF TRANS

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