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Transgender Activism – Legal Absurdity

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In a 2–1 panel ruling in mid April, a federal appellate court decided (or at least seemed to think that it decided) that G.G., a girl who identifies herself as male, has a legal right to use the boys’ restrooms at her high school in rural Gloucester County, Va. In so doing, the panel’s majority, consisting of two appointees of President Obama, kowtowed to the Obama administration’s radical claim that federal law requires any college or school that receives federal funding to make its single-sex restrooms, locker rooms, showers, housing, and sports teams available to “transgender students consistent with their gender identity.” Never has a more brazen and aggressive bureaucratic misreading of federal law encountered a more craven and confused judicial reception.

In 1972, Congress enacted the federal law known as Title IX. Title IX provides generally that no school that receives federal funding — a category that includes public grade schools and high schools as well as nearly all colleges, public or private — may “discriminat[e]” “on the basis of sex.” Everyone understood from the beginning, and the Obama administration still agrees, that Title IX allows schools to have single-sex restrooms, locker rooms, and showers. A regulation dating from 1975 says exactly that — a school “may provide separate toilet, locker room, and shower facilities on the basis of sex” — and goes on to specify only that “such facilities provided for students of one sex shall be comparable to such facilities provided for students of the other sex” (emphasis added).

Pushing the transgender agenda through the entire alphabet of the federal bureaucracy has been a high priority for the administration in President Obama’s second term. So it was that in January 2015 an obscure functionary named James A. Ferg-Cadima, in his temporary capacity as acting deputy assistant secretary at the Department of Education, signed his name to a letter and sent that letter to G.G. (and to various transgender activists). In his letter, Ferg-Cadima made two cursory legal claims on behalf of the department. First, he declared that Title IX’s ban on discrimination on the basis of sex includes a ban on discrimination on the basis of gender identity. Second, he asserted that schools that provide “sex-segregated restrooms, locker rooms, shower facilities, housing, athletic teams, and single-sex classes” must “treat transgender students consistent with their gender identity.”


Source: Ed Whelan, nationalreview.com