The injunction issued today by US District Judge Reed O'Connor in Texas v. United States puts transgender students even further in harm's way. Thousands of PFLAG families across the country are already having to navigate school environments that marginalize their trans kids; this ruling only adds fuel to the discriminatory fire.
The unfounded fears of a few should not and must not outweigh the safety and dignity of transgender students, who simply want to learn in a secure and welcoming environment, as all students do.
School administrators have a responsibility to create such an environment for all students who walk through their doors, and this injunction does not bar them from implementing inclusive policies to do so.
A ruling by a single judge in one circuit cannot and does not undo the years of clear legal precedent nationwide establishing that transgender students have the right to go to school without being singled out for discrimination. This unfortunate and premature ruling may, however, confuse school districts that are simply trying to support their students, including their transgender students.
So let us make it clear to those districts: your obligations under the law have not changed, and you are still not only allowed but required to treat transgender students fairly.
The scope of this injunction has no effect on the ability of other courts or lawyers representing transgender people to continue to rely on the federal government’s interpretations of Title IX or on prior decisions that have reached similar conclusions about the scope of federal sex discrimination laws.
The court’s misguided decision targets a small, vulnerable group of young people – transgender elementary and high school students – for potential continued harassment, stigma and abuse.Those five civil rights organizations pointed out that Judge O'Connor failed to consider the interests of the transgender students the federal laws sought to protect, and pledged "We will continue to file lawsuits representing transgender students and litigate them to the fullest extent of the law-regardless of what happens with this particular federal guidance."
We are disappointed by the ruling, but despite this setback, we are hopeful and know that the civil rights of all students will ultimately prevail.
Transgender Texans, and in particular transgender kids, must be afforded the most basic dignity to use the restroom. Paxton’s actions seek to punish and harm transgender students who have done nothing wrong.
We will continue to fight with the parents of these children until “ALL” children do not face discrimination and are treated equally under the law.
An injunction doesn't change what existing law is. It would only apply to the DOJ's issuance of its interpretation. So schools still need to comply with the law. Title IX and VII still prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex.
This decision does nothing to prevent school districts to work with parents on an individual basis to ensure they are protected in school and do not face bullying, alienation or discrimination.
In the ruling, Judge O’Conner said, “the difficult policy issue is not a subject of his order.” We believe this civil rights issue will ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.
It came to our attention earlier this week that there would be a "White Lives Matter" protest today. While it is always tempting to go and challenge those White people who come out and attack our movement, it is more important that we teach Black people that #BlackLivesMatter. People like these White supremacists are a waste of space and time, their minds are already made up and so are ours, What would we need to discuss with them?
The hard truth is that the Houston Police Department has been waiting to pounce on us. The situation would have endangered us in a way that dishonors why one would die for the liberation of Black bodies. The moment we would have arrived, they would have protected those white folks who came to a Black community to protest not just BLM but all Black people and perpetuate the racism that has always been part of their ideology.
Hate is a powerful thing, but only IF you give it power and narrative.
*They set the all time USA women point record (121) in the Senegal win.
*Set the US record for largest point differential in a game with the 65 point win over Senegal
*They became the first women's Olympic squad to score 100 points in three straight games.
*Set a new Olympic record of 40 assists in one game after tying the Olympic record of 36 assists set by the Soviet Union back in 1976.
* Have beaten their Rio Olympic competition by an average of 38.4 points
Next week, the UU Leaders Book Club on Goodreads is beginning Cultivating Empathy: The Worth and Dignity of Every Person – Without Exception by Nathan C. Walker. We’ll plan to finish it around September 2. Order your copy today from inSpirit: The UU Book and Gift Shop. It’s also available as an E-book. While you are waiting, check out some of Walker’s short writings from the UUA’s Worship Web.
In When Moses Meets Aaron, Susan Beaumont and Gil Rendle offer big picture ideas and detail-oriented practical advice for handling accountability and power in faith communities.
Reblog, reply, or join the conversation in the UU Church Leaders Book Group on Goodreads. In your communities (or small business or nonprofit), what values are important to you as your build the organizational structure? How does your spirituality inform the way you set expectations and design reporting relationships among people who work together?