As the furore around the use of public bathrooms by transgender people grows in the US, eleven states have now sued the Obama Administration over its recent progressive guidelines on the issue.
Earlier this month, the federal departments of education and justice, directed federally funded schools to allow transgender students to have equal access to facilities such as bathrooms and locker rooms that are consistent with their gender identity.
The departments said this was “to help ensure that transgender students enjoy a supportive and non-discriminatory school environment”.
Although the guidelines are not binding, the move was not well received by officials from conservative states. Now, led by Texas, the states of Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin have taken the matter to court.
The states claim that the Obama Administration is aiming “to turn workplaces and educational settings across the country into laboratories for a massive social experiment, flouting the democratic process, and running roughshod over commonsense policies protecting children and basic privacy rights”.
The state of North Carolina and the Federal Government are also embroiled in a legal battle over that state’s new anti-LGBT law which prohibits transgender people from using the bathroom of their choice in public buildings.
In a statement, Texas Governor Greg Abbott accused the Obama Administration of routinely trampling on the US Constitution, and said that the latest executive action “is yet another example of the administration’s disregard for the rule of law”.
Abbott went on to say that Obama “continues to violate the Constitution by trying to re-write laws as if he were a king”.
Critics claim that pro-trans bathroom policies could lead to sexual predators targeting women and children. Activists point out, however, that no such cases have been reported and argue that the current “trans bathroom panic” is based on little more than bigotry and ignorance.