Last Friday, the Obama administration called for public schools to allow transgender students to use restrooms consistent with their chosen gender identity, saying that Title IX, which outlaws sex discrimination in public schools, covers gender identity. There is an implication that schools that discriminate could face lawsuits or a loss of federal aid. With the North Carolina bathroom law still in the news as well, what follows is a snapshot of different viewpoints on this issue.
Also, I have a new Op-Ed in the Christian Science Monitor about the controversy over claims of bias in Facebook’s trending news. I argue that most of the analysis of this story is missing the point. See what you think: Behind Facebook's trending news feed, a deeper flaw.
See other news featured by AllSides such as Puerto Rico Restructuring Bill, Split Decision, Nevada Chaos and the latest AllSides News.
Snippets from the Left Leaning
“There’s no evidence that municipalities that have protected trans people’s restroom access have seen a spike in public-safety issues. But according to some studies, not having protected restroom access can be harmful for trans people.
…For her study, Seelman examined a sample of 2,325 transgender college graduates who responded to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey in 2009. A quarter had been denied access to bathrooms in some way or another. Their suicide-attempt rate was also much higher than that of the general U.S. population—47 percent, compared to about 4 percent for all Americans. Those who had been denied access to bathrooms were 45 percent more likely to have tried to kill themselves, even when controlling for other types of victimization.”
Snippets from the Right
“President Barack Obama’s directive on transgender bathroom use has been met with a lot of opposition, and now Republican Rep. Steve King (Iowa) is calling for ‘civil disobedience’ in response to the new guidelines.
‘We should call for civil disobedience here,’ King told 1040 WHO radio host Simon Conway, of Des Moines, Iowa, Tuesday. ‘And there’s no reason for us to follow an unconstitutional edict from the president, who is on his way out the door.’
King, one of several Republicans who wants to hold hearings on the directive, believes the mandate from the Obama administration is an executive overreach.”
Snippets from the Center
Christian Science Monitor
“The directive comes at a time when transgender individuals are gaining visibility across the social and cultural landscape, prompting a societal debate over the definition of gender identity.
For many conservatives, the identification of gender is purely biological and set at birth. However, for many in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, gender identity is more fluid and highly personal. That tension has come to head this week in North Carolina, where the state is locked in a legal battle with the federal government over its co-called bathroom bill.
On Monday, the Justice Department sued North Carolina over its bathroom law, HB2, or the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act, saying that the legislation is discriminatory.”
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