Wisconsin’s attorney general is joining a multi-state lawsuit challenging federal guidelines that direct many public schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom that matches the gender they identify with.
A guidance letter released earlier this month the by the U.S. Department of Justice directed schools receiving Title IX funding to allow students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identity, even if it does not match their biological sex. The agency said the intent was to help schools understand how gender identity fits in when considering compliance with the program. “A school must not treat a transgender student differently from the way it treats other students of the same gender identity,” it said.
The lawsuit, filed in Texas Wednesday includes Wisconsin and ten other states, argues the Obama Administration is “running roughshod” over policies that protect children.
In a press release announcing Wisconsin’s involvement in the case, Attorney General Brad Schimel said the policy undermines the state’s sovereignty and independence. “President Obama’s attempts to re-write the laws of our country without congressional consent and approval are not going to be tolerated by the State of Wisconsin,” Schimel said.
Treatment of transgender students in schools has been a controversial topic in the state for much of the past six months, after a bill was introduced in the Assembly last fall that would have prevented students from using bathrooms or locker rooms that don’t correspond with their biological sex. The measure received a public hearing, but ultimately died in committee. The sponsor of the bill, Rep. Jesse Kremer (R-Kewaskum), has said he plans to reintroduce it again next session.