January 09, 2017
FRC and the North Carolina Values Coalition filed an amicus brief today with the Supreme Court in the case of Gloucester County School Board v. G.G., in which the court will decide whether to allow the Department of Education's specific interpretation of Title IX and 34 C.F.R. § 106.33, which provides that sex-separated facilities must "generally treat transgender students consistent with their gender identity,” and whether a federal agency letter on the same topic should receive deference.
The case is more broadly about whether a local school board is free to determine that students must use the bathroom of their biological sex, and whether sex can be reinterpreted to include gender identity. The Obama administration has been hinting at the revocation of federal funds if localities such as Gloucester County take this course of action. While this case would become moot if President-elect Trump directs that such action must cease in his administration, attempts by legal activists to shoehorn "gender identity" into definitions of "sex" will persist. Thus, it is important that the court decide this case and clearly state that the statute and regulation's definition of "sex" does not include "gender identity."
In our brief, drafted by attorney Debbie Stewart and filed along with the North Carolina Values Coalition, we make three basic arguments on the side of the school board: (1) education policy should be decided at the local level, (2) the Obama administration DOE letter threatens the liberty of all students by invading their privacy, and (3) the same letter makes law when that should be left to the legislature. In our brief, we state:
"[T]he Departments' decrees remove public education -- a matter entrusted primarily to state and local governments -- from the elected representatives closest to the people and most responsive to their concerns. Individuals are deprived of the liberty to participate in a matter of national importance in the public schools that educate their children. The ultimatums hold a "gun to the head" of local authorities using an unconstitutional threat to withdraw federal funding from those who fail to comply." Such "actions jeopardize the Constitution's separation of powers, not only by issuing mandates that conflict with unambiguous statutory language but also by usurping judicial authority to interpret the law."
Young children in public schools all over our land are some of society's most vulnerable members, especially as they leave their families day-to-day to enter an environment in which they are supposed to be cared for and watched over. The Obama administration wants to force them to sacrifice their expectations of privacy at the behest of one Washington bureaucrat directing who they shall be made to use the shower or bathroom with. This is unconscionable. We hope the Supreme Court agrees and stops the legal activism by the lower courts and the administration which is driving this case and forcing an outcome on the Gloucester County School Board which is not in the best interest of its local community.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.