Almost a year after the Trump administration first announced it would rescind the Obama-era guidance on transgender students’ bathroom access, the Department of Education confirmed on Monday that it would no longer respond to complaints from trans students who have been denied access to bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity, according to BuzzFeed News.
Sarah McBride, a trailblazing LGBT rights activist and the national press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign, condemned the Trump administration’s new action in the clearest possible terms.
“This is an offensive, discriminatory and despicable action by an administration that has been intent over the last year on undermining the rights and dignity of transgender people, particularly trans youth,” McBride, who made history as the first out transgender woman to speak at the Democratic National Convention, said in an exclusive video op-ed for Mic.
According to McBride, Trump’s rejection of the Obama-era policy “endangers the lives of far too many young people.”
“This action is about undermining the lives and dignity of trans youth,” she said. “And it sends a really unfortunate message to so many transgender young people across this country. It sends a message that once again, [Education Secretary] Betsy DeVos, [Vice President] Mike Pence, and Donald Trump are turning their backs on thousands of transgender youth across this country.”
She added, “It says that if transgender youth face discrimination during the school day, if it happens in a restroom, this federal government won’t be by their side.”
In May 2016, the Obama administration issued guidelines guaranteeing transgender students access to bathrooms in public schools that corresponded with their gender identity.
But in February 2017, Trump rescinded that guidance, saying his administration needed more time to “consider the legal issues involved.” With Monday’s action, it would seem that the Trump administration has come to a conclusion on those legal issues.
Watch McBride’s exclusive video op-ed for Mic above.