This column by ACRU Senior Fellow Robert Knight was published May 19, 2016 by American Thinker.
President Obama’s bombshell edict on bathroom and locker rooms last week to all American school districts did not come out of the blue.
Friday’s joint letter from the Departments of Education and Justice, plus Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s mind-bending comparison of separate-sex bathroom policies to Jim Crow laws, was just the latest chapter in the assault on social norms begun in earnest by former Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. as soon as he took office in 2009.
If the Trump campaign were wise, it would not blow kisses to the tiny, tiny percentage of the population that identifies as the other sex, and instead put Hillary Clinton in a vise—caught between her legions of LGBTQ supporters versus millions of average Americans shocked by the intrusion of the federal government into school restrooms. This issue is a visceral example of the dangers of overweening, centralized establishment power without effective checks and balances. It’s made to order for the Trump insurgency.
But I digress. The main point is that this is not new. Here’s a case summarized in 2011 by American Civil Rights Union Policy Board member J. Christian Adams in his book Injustice: Exposing the Racial Agenda of the Obama Justice Department, which I offer with his permission:
Pink Wigs and Stiletto Heels
Americans might be shocked to learn that the Obama DOJ thinks it is a federal civil right for boys to wear stiletto high heels and pink wigs to a public high school. In the Mohawk Central School District near Utica, New York, a 15-year-old male student wanted to come to class dressed as a flamboyant transvestite. Unsurprisingly, other students teased the boy, and the school attempted to enforce a reasonable dress code to maintain classroom order. But in the age of Eric Holder, this became a federal civil rights issue.
The Civil Rights Division intervened in the affair to force the school to allow for child-transvestites. Where in the Constitution might this power be found? What could the legal theory possibly be? What federal right was at stake that could overcome the well-established power of schools to enforce order to facilitate learning? The answer, incredibly, is sex discrimination.
“Gender non-conforming” behavior has been elevated to a federal civil right under the Obama DOJ’s bizarre legal application of Title IX. This is not even within paddling distance of the mainstream. The law was intended to prevent discrimination against women, not against those who fantasize about having a different gender.
The school district was forced to pay the transvestite-child $50,000, pay for counseling services with a psychiatrist specializing in “gay, bisexual and transgender youth issues,” hire an expert to review the school’s “gender expression” programs, and hire a second expert to conduct annual training on “gender identity and gender expression” discrimination. In short, the DOJ rolled the school district.
Obviously, the school district’s lawyer, unlearned in the lawless proclivities of the Civil Rights Division, recommended this complete capitulation and settlement terms far beyond what the law required. The final consent decree appears to contain only one provision requested by the school district: an agreement not to mention any employee’s name. Then again, perhaps that’s the best that can be hoped for when the plaintiff is largely inventing the legal rules.
As the American people grapple with the social revolutionaries’ relentless legal jihad, we will learn a great deal about the character of public officials and candidates.