February 27, 2017

Whitehouse Opposes Trump’s Withdrawal of Guidance Protecting Transgender Students

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse released the following statement in opposition to President Donald Trump’s withdrawal of Obama-era guidance directing public schools to allow transgender students to use bathrooms corresponding to their gender identity:

“Rolling back protections for transgender students is cruel and unnecessary,” said Whitehouse.  “Rhode Island was founded on the notion of tolerance.  We were so concerned with it, we waited to join the union until we were sure everyone’s rights would be protected.  As Rhode Islanders have told me again and again, discrimination is contrary to who we are.  Thank you to Rhode Island’s schools who are standing firm.” 

Whitehouse has been an original cosponsor of the Student Non-Discrimination Act, a bill to prohibit discrimination against students in federally-assisted education programs on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation.  This month he joined in signing an amicus curiae brief urging the Supreme Court to uphold safeguards for transgender students under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs that receive federal funding.  Last year, Whitehouse joined forty of his Democratic Senate colleagues in writing to the Department of Education requesting guidance explaining how LGBT students were protected under Title IX.

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