In response to Jeff Sessions‘ U.S. Department of Justice’s announcement that it will no longer challenge a nationwide hold on protections for transgender students, nearly 800 parents of transgender children sent a letter to Donald Trump condemning the decision and calling on his administration to fully enforce federal civil rights laws.
The letter, signed by parents from 45 states plus Washington, D.C., was organized by HRC and its newly formed Parents for Transgender Equality Council, a coalition of the nation’s leading parent-advocates working for equality and fairness for transgender people.
Merely one day after Jeff Sessions was sworn in as U.S. attorney general, Sessions’ Justice Department withdrew a request to partially halt an order against the Obama administration’s protections for transgender students, which included non-discrimination guidelines for schools and assurances that transgender students could use restrooms consistent with their gender identity.
LGBTQ equality advocates, allies and the aforementioned parents of transgender children immediately decried the decision.
“As parents of transgender children, we were heartbroken and scared when we learned that your Administration’s Department of Justice had dropped its objections to a nationwide hold on Obama era protections for transgender students. You promised to be a president for all Americans, but less than 48 hours after Jeff Sessions was confirmed as Attorney General, the Department of Justice took a concrete step to undermine equality for the LGBTQ community.”
“Just 48 hours after the confirmation of his anti-equality attorney general, Donald Trump’s administration directly attacked LGBTQ equality and took aim at the rights of transgender youth,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “This disgraceful action exposes transgender students to harassment and discrimination and emboldens bullies from classrooms to state legislatures. These 781 courageous parents are asking that the federal government protect their children at school, something that all families deserve. We stand with these parents and urge President Trump and Attorney General Sessions to listen to families across the country demanding basic fairness and respect for every child.”
In related news, a coalition of transgender teachers wrote an open letter supporting Gavin Grimm, the transgender student who is the plaintiff in Gloucester County School Board v. Grimm, which will be heard March 28 by the Supreme Court of the United States. Grimm, a transgender teenager, filed suit against the school board alleging the district violated Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 by denying him use of the boy’s restroom.