AUSTIN (ChurchMilitant.com) - A federal court is blocking Obama's attempt to coerce public schools into allowing so-called transgendered students the use of bathrooms and locker rooms in accord with their chosen "gender identity." Although the district court is located in Texas, the injunction is effective nationwide.
The ruling removes the threat by the Obama administration to withhold federal funding from schools across the country that refuse to comply with the White House interpretation of Title IX and its nondiscrimination regulations. The White House administration interprets the word "sex" as used in Title IX to mean so-called "gender identity" instead of its previously understood meaning of biological sex.
On Sunday, U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor in Austin, Texas signed a temporary injunction ordering that the meaning of the word "sex" in Title IX regulation is "not ambiguous."
"It cannot be disputed that the plain meaning of the term sex as used ... following passage of Title IX meant the biological and anatomical differences between male and female students as determined at their birth," O'Connor writes.
A letter jointly issued in May by the Department of Justice and Education exchanged the word sex with "gender identity" in Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. The 1972 regulations disallowed discrimination by federally funded schools on the basis of a student's sex. But in May the Obama administration widened the meaning of the word as used in the 1972 Title IX laws to mean a "student's transgender status."
In short, if a male says he is female, then according to Obama's mandate, public schools must allow him into the female bathrooms and locker rooms, or risk crippling loss of federal funds. Shortly after the letter was issued, Texas and 11 other states sued Obama over the transgender mandate for public schools.
Judge O'Connor ruled Sunday that the injunction would apply nationwide. "This preliminary injunction shall be binding on Defendants and any officers, agents, servants, employees, attorneys, or other persons in active concert or participation with Defendants," he ordered, including all related agents of the U.S. government in his order.
He also noted that federal officials, in their May directive, had failed to follow proper protocols requiring that schools be given the opportunity to weigh in before the government issued its mandate.
The Obama administration had argued, however, that recipients of federal funding were "clearly on notice" that anti-discrimination policies must be followed. Texas alone gets roughly $10 billion in federal education funds.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sought the injunction to halt Obama's "guidance" from being enforced because Texas school districts had decided not to comply and thus risked losing federal education dollars.
This president is attempting to rewrite the laws enacted by the elected representatives of the people and is threatening to take away federal funding from schools to force them to conform. That cannot be allowed to continue, which is why we took action to protect states and school districts.
The Texas ruling was the second blow to the Obama administration's transgender mandate. Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a Virginia school board can temporarily block a girl who believes she's a boy from using the boys' restroom.