The Republican Party’s Double Secret Probation Plan For Transgender Students

CREDIT: AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus

The Republican National Committee (RNC) recently took a brash position opposing transgender equality — and didn’t tell anyone about it. Weeks after its passage at the RNC’s winter meeting last month, Time Magazine’s Zeke Miller found the resolution urging lawmakers to discriminate against transgender people.

In no uncertain terms, the RNC resolution rejects the legitimacy of transgender identities and calls for policies that refuse them access to bathrooms that match their gender identities. It also demands that the Department of Education rescind its interpretation of Title IX “that wrongly includes facility use issues by transgender students.”

The resolution’s opening “whereas” statement asserts, “A person’s sex is defined as the physical condition of being male or female, which is determined at conception, identified at birth by a person’s anatomy, recorded on their official birth certificate, and can be confirmed by DNA testing.” Though further statements acknowledge that transgender people have a gender identity that may conflict with their “anatomical sex,” gender identity, it argues, should have nothing to do with Title IX’s nondiscrimination protections based on sex.

There’s also a rather blatant partisan swipe in the resolution attacking Hillary Clinton, even though the State Department had zero involvement in policies relating to transgender students:

WHEREAS, Policies of the Obama Administration, presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and public schools that allow any students to use the restrooms, locker rooms, or other facilities designated for the exclusive use of the other sex infringes on the rights of privacy and conscience of other students.

Arguing that a transgender inclusive Title IX is “an infringement upon the majority of students’ Constitutional rights,” the resolution calls upon state lawmakers to “enact laws that protect student privacy and limit the use of restrooms, locker rooms and similar facilities to members of the sex to whom the facility is designated.” This is despite the fact that in school districts that offer transgender protections, there have been no reports of any violation of safety or privacy.

Bill likes this have been proposed in several states already. One has already passed in South Dakota, and Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R) has until Tuesday to veto it. Though he met with transgender students this week, as he said he would do, he has not announced what action he will take. The New York Times editorial Friday calls on him to veto it.

As ThinkProgress previously reported, bills like South Dakota’s pose a serious threat to the health and well-being of transgender young people. Policies that restrict their access to bathrooms can out them (violating their privacy), ostracize them from their classmates, and infringe upon their access to learning — all of which could contribute to bullying, depression, and the consequences that follow. In addition, so long as the Department of Education continues to recognize trans students under Title IX’s protections, schools that refuse to provide such accommodations could risk losing substantial federal funding.