Every week, it seems, brings a new target as the Trump administration seemingly picks its way down the list of some of the biggest progressive gains and efforts of the past decade. Wednesday brought the latest affront as news spread of a new White House memo rolling back Obama administration protections for transgender students. In Seattle, of course, people are already fighting back.
“I can’t believe they’re going after the kids,” the Gender Justice League’s Danni Askini told CHS Wednesday afternoon.
The White House letter issued Wednesday tells officials at the nation’s public schools to disregard the previous administration’s directives that established that prohibiting transgender students “from using facilities that align with their gender identity” violated federal anti-discrimination laws.
“The bullying coming from the White House reached even more alarming levels today when the Trump administration specifically began targeting school kids,” Mayor Ed Murray said in a statement. “By rescinding federal guidance from the Department of Education to stand up for Title IX protections allowing transgender students to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity, the new administration is sending a message that it no longer respects individual rights and ratcheting up the fear among marginalized communities.”
The mayor’s statement also touted Washington’s 2006 passage of the Anderson-Murray Act, which Murray co-sponsored when he was a state legislator, “to protect transgender people from discrimination in public accommodations.”
Jay Inslee also cited the act in his statement on the Trump administration’s actions. “I strongly oppose the Trump Administration’s reversal of federal protection for transgender students,” Inslee said. “Washington state will continue to be a place where all children can feel safe from discrimination, harassment or assault based on their gender identity.”
Activists are also gearing up to fight the signature gathering campaign for Initiative 1552 to put a roll-back of trans bathroom rights in Washington on the fall ballot.
Askini says there are two ways to help Seattle’s students from the administration’s new attack on transgender rights.
First, there is an opportunity to get involved coming right away. Saturday in Tacoma, the League will join groups from across the region for a rally to fight I-1552 to protest the president’s action.
Second, Askini said students shouldn’t feel alone. “Let them know they’re part of a community that is vibrant and has survived a lot worse than the Donald Trump administration,” she said.
“Let them know that they’re not alone, that millions are standing with them. No one memo is going to change that they have civil and human rights.”
— Danni Askini (@danniaskini) February 23, 2017