Attorney General Leslie Rutledge has joined nine other states in another bathroom lawsuit. They are suing the federal government over the guidance that federal law prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender.
In other words, court precedent says students are entitled to use restroom and other facilities that comport with their gender. Rutledge prefers to characterize this as a “directive requiring” public schools to open gender specific bathrooms and locker rooms to both sexes. It does no such thing. It opens women’s restrooms to women and men’s restrooms to men, though those human beings might have had differing component parts (or even ambiguous ones) at birth.
Rutledge raises a spurious safety issue about a matter that has yet to present much of an issue in Arkansas, where perhaps 15,000 or so people are transgender, regardless of age.
The Obama Administration is using intimidation tactics in an attempt to force local schools to adopt a radical social policy that raises serious safety concerns for school-age children,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “From a young age, children are taught not to be bullies, yet that is exactly what the federal government is doing by threatening the loss of funding if schools do not comply with this directive – a directive that unlawfully ignores the role of Congress. This proposal, which is part of a liberal social agenda, will disrupt the learning environment and be a detriment to the very children it intends to help, which is why today’s action is in the best interest of our students.”
It is not in the interest of transgender students, who already bear an enormous burden. It’s breath-taking to see someone supposedly learned in the law and in putative possession of human sensibilities to see Arkansas as somehow a victim of bullying while she endeavors to help those who’d oppress a tiny minority. Is evil too strong a word? Mean certainly is not. An LGBT person would certainly do well to find another counselor than one approved by Rutledge, whose office, by the way, advises the board on counseling.
She’s suing the Education Department, Justice Department and other agencies and officials. She claims to act on behalf of Human Services and the Youth Services Division. And, what, do you wonder, do they do with a transgender female assigned to the youth lockup? It’s not a pleasant thought.
Rutledge’s cohorts: Nebraska, Kansas, Michigan, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota and Wyoming. This case was filed in Nebraska. There, the attorney general wasn’t quite so overheated as Rutledge, announcing that the federal directive took away the ability of districts to deal with the issue individually. That’s a more rational argument than Rutledge’s claim of specific directives and radical social agendas. Indeed, many reasonable institutions in Arkansas have made accommodations without fuss. Rutledge prefers to make a fuss.
Opponents of transgender equality have produced no evidence of the ills of people using restrooms marked for genders with which they identify. But it has become THE bedrock issue used to fight equality for LGBT people generally.