A White House of Another Stripe

A White House of Another Stripe

July 1, 2021

Elections have consequences. Yesterday's virtual White House Convening on Transgender Equality serves as the latest reminder. With officials like White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, director of the Domestic Policy Council Susan Rice, and Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine hosting, viewers could expect to hear fawning praise for President Biden and his 14 percent LGBTQ+ administration.

Perhaps the most chilling comments came from Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, who joined to "discuss ways we can create school environments for transgender students that are nurturing, welcoming, and affirming." That means unquestioning support for students of any age declaring a wish to live as the opposite sex.

We agree with Cardona when he says, "Our schools must be places where students know they are safe. Let's be clear from the start: every single student in America has immeasurable worth and limitless potential, and every student has the right to feel valued and supported so that they can do their best learning."

But we cannot agree when he used the opportunity to chastise state legislatures who have protected women and girls' right to sports and privacy by saying, "Banning young people from engaging in school activities on the basis of sex defies our nation's values of inclusivity, equality, and freedom.... [T]he federal government has reaffirmed that discrimination on the basis of sex -- including sexual orientation and gender identity -- is not only wrong, it's prohibited in our schools. Because all means all. This is important because it enables my Department of Education to work even more closely with states, districts, and others to prevent and actively combat discrimination against LGBTQ+ students in schools." School districts should brace themselves for renewed harassment and litigation from Washington, D.C. interest groups and government officials.

In her opening remarks, Susan Rice also decried the "unacceptable, horrific increase in legislation in the states" that would protect children and preserve Title IX as a protection for women and girls.

This kind of pandering to LGBTQ+ activist groups like Human Rights Campaign and Gender Cool stands in contrast to the Oval Office event hosted by President Trump in January of 2019 to safeguard religious freedom for all students and teachers of faith. At that time, Tony Perkins observed: "President Trump and his administration are taking on the bullies that have been intimidating school officials and bullying students with their often baseless lawsuits. No longer will students have to stand alone in their defense of their religious freedom as these anti-faith organizations seek to rob students in public schools of any form of religious expression. He is also stepping up to protect religious organizations from government discrimination. This is a president who is putting freedom back in Religious Freedom Day."

The White House Convening on Transgender Equality marked the end of Pride Month. But we can expect more attacks on Title IX, parental rights, and vulnerable children from the activist team in the Biden White House.