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Published On: Tue, May 17th, 2016

Josh Earnest says Obama administration orders on transgender bathroom just ‘advice’ and ‘guidance’

What sounded like an order to school officials across America is only advice, says White House spokesman Josh Earnest, responding to the anger fueled by a federal letter to schools regarding transgender access to bathrooms.

“The guidance does not add additional requirements to the applicable law,” Earnest said of the joint letter from the Departments of Education and Justice. “The guidance does not require any student to use shared facilities when schools make alternate arrangements.”

More than half of the questions asked at the White House press briefing were about the new Title IX “bathroom law”guidance issued by the Obama administration on Friday.

photo Charles Fettinger via Flickr

photo Charles Fettinger via Flickr

“But what the framework does provide is advice for how school administrators can protect the dignity and safety of every student under their charge…This is not an enforcement action,” he said.

While Earnest says that, the document itself makes it clear that a condition of getting federal education aid is that a school comply with Title IX rules that ban discrimination according to sex, language the letter from the Departments of Justice and Education said means gender identity.

The letter also said that refusing to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms they want based on gender identity could be interpreted as a civil rights violation.

CNN noted that “The letter does not carry the force of law but the message was clear: Fall in line or face loss of federal funding.”

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick accused the Obama administration of “blackmail” and called the guidance “social engineering.”
“The families in America will not accept it,” Patrick said at a news conference.
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant issued a statement in response to the letter, calling the directive “outrageous” and directed his state’s education department to disregard the order.
“The directive is nonbinding and does not carry the force of law,” Bryant said. “Because these decisions are better left to the states, and not made at the point of a federal bayonet, Mississippi’s public schools should not participate in the president’s social experiment.”
photo Marcus Werthmann

photo Marcus Werthmann

About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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    […] Obama’s directive in May mandated that all public schools allow transgender students to choose the bathroom that matches his […]

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    […] Press Secretary Josh Earnest tried to soften the language of Obama’s edict after the “threat” of federal funding being pulled created even more outrage. Earnest used terms like “advice” and “guidance” but the “threat” was still there. More on Earnest’s remarks HERE […]

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    […] control after their bathroom edict with Press Secretary Josh Earnest trying to soften the tone, saying it was “advice” and “guidance” not a […]

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