Judge in Texas temporarily blocks Obama’s transgender rules
“AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A federal judge in Texas has blocked the Obama administration’s order that requires public schools to let transgender students use the bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their chosen gender identity.
In a temporary injunction signed Sunday, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor ruled that the federal education law known as Title IX “is not ambiguous” about sex being defined as “the biological and anatomical differences between male and female students as determined at their birth.”
The judge said the order would apply nationwide. The ruling, he said, was not about the policy issues of transgender rights but about his conclusion that federal officials simply did not follow rules that required an opportunity for comment before such directives are issued.
“This case presents the difficult issue of balancing the protection of students’ rights and that of personal privacy … while ensuring that no student is unnecessarily marginalized while attending school,” he wrote.
The ruling was the second recent setback for transgender advocates. Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a Virginia school board can block for now a transgender male from using the boys’ restroom while justices decide whether to fully intervene.
Texas and 12 other states challenged the White House directive as unconstitutional.
The judge also sided with Republican state leaders who argued that schools should have been allowed to weigh in before the White House mandate was announced in May.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, had argued that halting the Obama order before school began was necessary because districts risked losing federal education dollars if they did not comply. Federal officials did not explicitly make that threat upon issuing the directive, although they also never ruled out the possibility.
“This president is attempting to rewrite the laws enacted by the elected representatives of the people and is threating to take away federal funding from schools to force them to conform,” Paxton said. “That cannot be allowed to continue, which is why we took action to protect states and school districts.”
….Continue reading @ Yahoo News
Journal: Transgenderism ‘Not Supported By Scientific Evidence’
– Daily Caller
“Although popular culture and many of the leading media organizations have bought wholeheartedly into the idea that gender identity is something distinct from one’s biological sex — that a man could be born in a woman’s body or vice versa — such beliefs have no grounding in any credible scientific evidence, according to a report published Monday in the journal The New Atlantis.
Arizona State University professor of statistics and biostatistics Lawrence S. Mayer and John Hopkins University Medical School professor of psychiatricsPaul McHugh co-authored the report, which examined top peer-reviewed studies in the biological, psychological, and social sciences.
“Examining research from the biological, psychological, and social sciences, this report shows that some of the most frequently heard claims about sexuality and gender are not supported by scientific evidence,” they noted.
Among the key findings listed by the authors was that, “The hypothesis that gender identity is an innate, fixed property of human beings that is independent of biological sex — that a person might be ‘a man trapped in a woman’s body’ or ‘a woman trapped in a man’s body’ — is not supported by scientific evidence.
“Children are a special case when addressing transgender issues. Only a minority of children who experience cross-gender identification will continue to do so into adolescence or adulthood,” the authors continued.
“There is little scientific evidence for the therapeutic value of interventions that delay puberty or modify the secondary sex characteristics of adolescents, although some children may have improved psychological well-being if they are encouraged and supported in their cross-gender identification. There is no evidence that all children who express gender-atypical thoughts or behavior should be encouraged to become transgender.”
“An area of particular concern involves medical interventions for gender-nonconforming youth. They are increasingly receiving therapies that affirm their felt genders, and even hormone treatments or surgical modifications at young ages,” they added later.
“But the majority of children who identify as a gender that does not conform to their biological sex will no longer do so by the time they reach adulthood. We are disturbed and alarmed by the severity and irreversibility of some interventions being publicly discussed and employed for children.”
The report also found that, “The understanding of sexual orientation as an innate, biologically fixed property of human beings—the idea that people are ‘born that way’—is not supported by scientific evidence.”
“While there is evidence that biological factors such as genes and hormones are associated with sexual behaviors and attractions, there are no compelling causal biological explanations for human sexual orientation,” the authors explained.”
…More @ Daily Caller
Court blocks federal government’s ‘guidance’ on transgender bathrooms
– Washington Post
“In an order filed Sunday, a federal district court in Texas issued an injunction barring the federal government from enforcing the administration’s position that federal civil rights laws require, among other things, that schools allow students to use those bathroom facilities that correspond with a student’s professed gender identity. This position was detailed in a “Dear Colleague” letter issued by the Education and Justice departments in May.
In a 38-page opinion, Judge Reed O’Connor concluded that the plaintiffs had standing to challenge the guidance documents at issue, that their claim was ripe for judicial resolution and that they had a substantial likelihood of success on the merits. The decision, in yet another case captioned Texas v. United States, will certainly be appealed.
The most important part of the decision was the court’s conclusion that the DOE/DOJ guidance was invalid because the agencies failed to go through a notice-and-comment rulemaking before declaring that, for instance, school districts are obligated to accommodate the stated gender identities of students under existing federal law. I think this is correct.
For years, most schools understood Title IX as applying to biological sex and existing law made it clear that schools could (but were not required to) provide sex-segregated bathroom and locker facilities. Whether or not the guidance is a good idea, it certainly represents a significant change in what schools are expected to do, and puts substantial amounts of federal funding at risk should schools fail to comply.”
….Continue reading @ Volokh Conspiracy | Washington Post