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Trump acts against LGBT interests

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Trump acts against LGBT interests

Gender-neutral bathrooms located in Wassaja Residence Hall.

Gender-neutral bathrooms located in Wassaja Residence Hall.

Jessica Jutzi

Gender-neutral bathrooms located in Wassaja Residence Hall.

Jessica Jutzi

Jessica Jutzi

Gender-neutral bathrooms located in Wassaja Residence Hall.

By Isabella Winkler, Opinions columnist

In a complete backpedaling of his promise to protect the LGBT community, President Donald Trump reversed a guidance last week from the Obama administration that protects transgender students in schools. Particularly, the guidelines that gave transgender students the right to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with.

North Carolina passed a law in November forcing transgender people to use the bathrooms which correlate with their assigned sex. The law sparked a debate on identity politics and the legitimacy of transgenderism, and “the bathroom debate” has been a hot topic issue since.

In January, the White House released a press release stating, “President Donald J. Trump is determined to protect the rights of all Americans, including the LGBTQ community.”

Now just weeks later, President Trump has illustrated the inconsistencies in his convictions by following through with Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ encouragement to rescind the guidelines.

Even on his campaign trail, Trump departed from normal conservative anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and became the first Republican candidate to embrace the LGBT community. He evan waved a rainbow flag with the words “LGBT’s for Trump” at a rally in Colorado.

Many Republicans used his unprecedented support of the LGBT community to position him against other nominees, especially Hillary Clinton, who has flip-flopped regarding her stance on marriage equality in the past. His supporters argued that he wasn’t the bad guy the media claims he is because look, he’s waving a rainbow flag, he loves the gays, nobody loves the gays more than him.

By supporting the Attorney General’s stance on transgender rights, and forcing Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to end her resistance to the rescinding, President Trump has officially marked himself an enemy of the LGBT community. Even more so, being so flexible in his beliefs and so easily manipulated by his inferiors has demonstrated that his words cannot be taken at face value.

The justification for reversing the guidelines is the same excuse used over and over when it comes to conservative opposition to such issues: an overreach of state’s rights. The guidance was issued “without due regard for the primary role of the states and local school districts in establishing educational policy,” said the Education Department.

“Overreaching” is not a question when the president wants to criminalize abortion, but when it comes to protecting students, the government has apparently overstepped its responsibilities.

Besides what this move says about the president and his administration, the real concern lies in what this means for transgender students.

A common argument against the bathroom debate is that allowing anyone to use any bathroom opens up public restrooms to pedophiles and predators dressing as women. But the legislation for or against bathroom choice wouldn’t evade or worsen this risk anyway. And it’s convenient that the danger of pedophiles in public restrooms never became a true concern until transgender rights became involved.

When it comes to school bathrooms, it is transgender students who feel unsafe. According to the 2013 National School Climate report, over a third of LGBT students avoided school bathrooms for their own safety.

Excuses such as government overreach and an illegitimate concern for public restroom safety are merely a deflection. President Trump has not only proved to be dishonest, but careless and heartless when it comes to his empty promises to the LGBTQ community.

Isabella is a sophomore in ACES.

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