After years of smearing transgender youth as sexual predators, far-right activists scored a major victory when President Trump followed through yesterday on his campaign promise to rescind the strong federal guidelines issued by the Obama administration affirming that schools cannot discriminate on the basis of a student’s gender identity.
Last year, when the Departments of Justice and Education unveiled the now-withdrawn guidelines protecting transgender students, conservatives warned that the Obama administration was attempting to “create chaos,” impose “tyranny” and spread the “social, educational and spiritual molestation of our children.”
Carl Gallups, a Religious Right pastor elevated by Trump’s presidential campaign, reacted to the guidelines by saying that parents don’t “want their little six-year-old girl molested in the bathroom because some hairy guy decides he feels like a girl that day and follows their little pretty little girl into the bathroom under federal decree.”
Far-right activist Dave Daubenmire urged people to protest the rules with “pitchforks and torches” so as not to “let perverts violate their daughters’ restrooms.”
Bryan Fischer of American Family Radio characterized the guidelines as satanic and “Trunews” host Rick Wiles called for “massive disobedience” to stop President Obama and Satan from raping children: “He’s coming into the schools to rape your children. Let’s be honest about it. Satan wants to rape your children.”
Unsurprisingly, ultraconservative activists were thrilled by the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw the guidelines.
“We applaud the Trump administration for taking a stand against the Obama administration attempts to impose its unlawful and harmful LGBT agenda on public schools,” Liberty Counsel Chairman Mat Staver said yesterday. “The Obama directive is a lawless act and defies common sense. Allowing boys to use private facilities for girls violates the right to privacy and places girls at risk of sexual abuse.”
Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage, who had railed against Obama for fancying “himself a god” and imposing the “insane and dangerous” guidelines, called Trump’s move “a huge victory for common sense and for protecting our wives and daughters from predatory activity in intimate spaces like locker rooms and restrooms.”
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, who had said “Congress should begin impeachment proceedings” to stop the “evil” rules, applauded the Trump administration’s actions, arguing that under the Obama guidelines, a “child’s innocence” was “sacrificed on the altar of government imposed political correctness.”
“The Trump administration’s reversal of this mandate on schools is a victory for parents, children, and privacy.
“The Obama administration resorted to this coercive policy because they knew parents and schools could never be persuaded to force boys and girls to shower together, stay together on school trips, and use the same locker rooms and bathrooms. As it turned out, the persistence of parents was far stronger than the government’s power of coercion. Parents refused to allow their child’s innocence to be sacrificed on the altar of government imposed political correctness.
“Today’s announcement fulfills President Trump’s campaign promise to get the federal government out of the business of dictating school shower and bathroom policies. The federal government has absolutely no right to strip parents and local schools of their rights to provide a safe learning environment for children.
“What we were taught in kindergarten, boys use the boys room and girls use the girls room, was made old fashioned by liberal bureaucrats. Thanks to the Trump administration, parents and schools will remain free to protect the privacy and well-being of every student,” concluded Perkins.
Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America said “there is simply no reason to burden all children and force those who feel uncomfortable with this to ‘just deal with it’ because of political correctness,” claiming that the Trump administration’s decision to withdraw the guidelines “should be supported by all, including transgender rights advocates.”
Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Gary McCaleb asserted that the Trump administration move “restores common sense,” and Dan Harrington of Students and Parents for Privacy thanked Trump for “restoring sanity to our schools.”
Feeling vindicated, Trump’s Religious Right allies are now likely to push for further rollbacks of LGBTQ protections.