TCC Letter to President Trump: 2016 U.S. Department of Education Guidance Letter

February 1, 2017

Dear President Trump and General Boente:

The Texas Conservative Coalition (TCC) requests that you rescind the May 13, 2016 “Dear Colleague” letter issued by the U.S. Department of Education (Office for Civil Rights) and U.S. Department of Justice (Civil Rights Division).

Under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, discrimination on the basis of sex is prohibited under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.  The Obama Administration’s “Dear Colleague” guidance letter adopts a new interpretation of “sex,” never contemplated at the time of Title IX’s adoption. The letter tells educators across the nation that “sex” includes a student’s “gender identity.” The letter attempts to calm enforcement concerns by claiming that the guidance “does not add requirements to applicable law[.]” Yet by explaining that the guidance will “inform recipients about how the Departments evaluate whether covered entities are complying with their legal obligations[,]” the implication is clear: “Sex” no longer means what we all understand it to mean. Use the new interpretation or lose federal funding.

Thirteen states and agencies, including Texas, filed a lawsuit arguing that the guidance is unlawful because, among other things, at the time of Title IX’s adoption, neither Congress, nor agency regulators and third parties “believed that the law opened all bathrooms and other intimate facilities to members of both sexes.” A federal judge in Texas agreed that the Plaintiffs are likely to succeed in their lawsuit and issued a nationwide injunction against implementation and enforcement of the “Dear Colleague” guidance. Despite likelihood of success in court, The Obama Administration has forced Texas and other states to make sex, gender, and bathrooms a public fight. As a result of their actions, the Texas Senate has introduced Senate Bill 6 to clarify that public restrooms designated by sex must be used based on a person’s sex of birth, not their chosen gender.

The bathroom guidance letter is but one more in a long line of aggressive federal overreaches by the Obama Administration, which has repeatedly used every tool at its disposal to implement its agenda. Pen, phone, executive order, and aggressive statutory interpretation, to name a few. We look forward to an Administration that will not spend its time imposing its desired cultural changes on a nation that has so many other things to be concerned about, including the economy, taxes, border security, and fixing an incoherent foreign policy.

An aggressive administration in Washington D.C. started this fight.  TCC asks that you rescind the Obama Administration’s “Dear Colleague” bathroom guidance as a first step in respecting the rule of law, reinvigorating the separation of powers, and restoring federalism.

We stand ready to assist at the state-level, and we look forward to working with you

Click here for the full letter with signatures.