ACLU Statement on Lawsuit Challenging President’s Transgender Guidance

NEW YORK — Eleven states have announced legal action against the Obama administration following the release of guidance on how schools treat transgender students.

James Esseks, director of the ACLU LGBT Project issued the following comment:

This lawsuit is an attack from 11 states on transgender Americans, plain and simple. While the Obama administration is being sued, the real targets here are vulnerable young people and adults who simply seek to live their lives free from discrimination when they go to school, work or the restroom.

There have been no disruptions, increases in public safety incidents, nor invasions of privacy related to protections for transgender people. The federal agencies named in this lawsuit have not changed existing obligations under the law. Our civil rights laws, including Title VII and Title IX of the Civil Rights Act, have long prohibited discrimination on the basis of sex, and federal courts and agencies have long recognized that this includes protections for transgender people.

The Supreme Court has made clear that one cannot sue an agency just because they disagree with the agency’s guidance.  If these attorneys general disagree with the agency’s interpretation of what the federal ban on sex discrimination means, they can make that argument to the court when it arises in a real case. This lawsuit is a political stunt.”