Shortly after announcement by the Trump administration that it was revoking Obama administration regulation protecting transgender students, Democrats condemned the move.
The U.S. Department of Justice and the Department of Education — reportedly over the objection of Education Chief Betsy DeVos — issued new guidelines late on Wednesday rescinding the Obama rules, citing a need to further consider the legal ramifications of those rules.
“No student should face discrimination at school because of who they are,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement. “Transgender students have the same right to a safe environment at school and in their community as everyone else. Withdrawing the historic guidance from the Obama Administration to protect transgender students is a cruel blow to an already vulnerable group of young people.”
“This move shows that President Trump cannot be trusted to defend the rights of LGBT Americans. This is not a state issue. This is an issue of equality for all. The Administration’s wanton disregard of protecting the civil rights of the LGBT community is harmful to our communities and our schools,” the California Democrat added.
On the Senate side, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer tweeted that the “Trump admin decision to roll back protections for transgender Americans is just plain wrong & cuts directly across the drive for equality.”
Trump admin decision to roll back protections for transgender Americans is just plain wrong & cuts directly across the drive for equality.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) February 23, 2017
The junior Senator from California, Kamala Harris, also tweeted her opposition calling the revocation of federal protection by the Trump administration “an appalling decision that targets kids because of who they are.”
Revoking federal protections for transgender students is an appalling decision that targets kids because of who they are. Shameful. https://t.co/J18WoOh64W
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) February 23, 2017
The decision by the administration pinned Attorney General Jeff Sessions against Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who was reportedly uncomfortable with rescinding the Obama regulation. Sessions, on the other hand, strongly supported the rollback and urged DeVos to back the move.
The debate was so heated that it took President Trump to break the logjam. He sided with Sessions, prompting DeVos to go along but only on the condition that the administration include language instructing schools to crack down on the bullying of transgender students.