LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)- President Trump has withdrawn federal protections for transgender student put into place by the Obama administration.
If you remember back in May of last year, the Department of Education and Justice under the Obama administration sent out a letter to public schools and universities directing them to allow transgender students to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity.
But this week President Trump’s administration issued their own letter rescinding that guidance saying it should be up to the states to decide and that has people here in Kentucky divided.
“This is not really a state’s right this is a civil right,” said Christopher Bauer with the Pride Community Services Organization
“It’s not the federal governments roll to tell Kentuckians how to use the bathroom,” said Kent Ostrander with The Family Foundation.
When it comes to whether transgender student should use the bathroom that correlates with their biological sex or gender identity, here in Kentucky the divide is strong.
“Our whole culture is based around traditions and bathrooms are based on biology,” said Ostrander.
“Trans persons go to the bathroom to pee. I don’t know what other people think is going on in bathrooms but whatever they think is going on is not happening,” said Bauer.
Advocates of transgender students say they have a right to use the bathroom they feel most comfortable in.
“This is a civil right that needs to be you know put in place for the safety and for the rights of all,” said Bauer.
But opponents say allowing transgender students to do that violates the rights of non-transgender students.
“We’re suggesting that they have to, in these formative years they have to be exposed to someone of the opposite sex,” said Ostrander.
The battle here really comes out to the governments interpretation of Title IX, the federal law that bans sex discrimination in schools, and if it includes gender identity.
Under the Obama administration, the answer was yes.
Under the Trump administration, the answer is it should be up to the states.
Here in Kentucky, a bill has already been introduced that would make transgender students here use the bathroom that matches their biological sex.
This issue has sparked debate and lawsuits across the country and is expected to be taken up by the supreme court for a final determination.