Trans Bathrooms Edict Proves Feds Have Too Much Power

Published May 18, 2016

Regardless of one’s views about transgender issues, it’s clear the Obama administration’s edict Friday – requiring all 13,506 U.S. school districts to give transgender children access to the bathrooms, locker rooms, showers, and sports teams of their choice – proves the federal government has too much power over American schools. Evan Wilt reports at World:

‘The federal government is reinterpreting statutes, saying what they mean, with no warrant other than their own political will,’ said Jeremy Tedesco, senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom. ‘People don’t understand the unprecedented nature of what’s going on and how dangerous it is for freedom.’

Tedesco told me the Supreme Court will have to decide whether sex means biological male and female, or something else. Meanwhile, he said federal agencies continue to abuse their power in an unmatched fashion by forcing institutions to comply with their own interpretation of the term.

Others agree the debate is about more than which bathroom Americans use – it’s about what power the federal government has to enforce its own ideology.

The rules, which the administration promises to enforce by yanking funds from and suing school districts that don’t comply, include language controls saying school staff should refer to children using the pronouns the children choose. The rules also preclude schools from making different kinds of accommodations for all the kids affected by sharing private facilities with a transgender student, such as providing unisex or private bathrooms and the like, either for transgender children or others uncomfortable with undressing nearby.

Neal McCluskey at the Cato Institute steps back from the culture war to focus on the policy problems that keep fueling it. Central to these is the fact that the federal government can bully every public school in the country into its vision of how people should run intimate details of their lives. What fuels the culture war like perhaps nothing else is putting the force of government behind one side. McCluskey writes of a simple solution:

allowing private entities to choose their own policies is consistent with individual liberty, including freedom of association and religion, while it is much better suited to enabling people with competing values to peacefully co-exist. There is no zero-sum contest: Those who want an open bathroom policy could choose schools in which all the staff and families also embraced it, while those feeling more comfortable with bathrooms and locker rooms restricted by biological sex could go to schools with like-minded people.

SOURCES: CNN, Cato Institute, World magazine


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