The federal government should leave sexual regulation of the nation’s K-12 bathrooms and locker rooms to state and local governments, Donald Trump said in multiple interviews Friday.
“I believe it should be states’ rights and I think the states should make the decision, they’re more capable of making the decision,” Trump told the audience for ABC’s Good Morning America. When pressed, he repeated his pro-federalism policy: “I just think it should be states’ rights. I think many things actually should be states’ rights, but this is a perfect example of it.”
The candidate was asked about bathrooms because of President Barack Obama’s Friday decree that the nation’s 100,000 public schools open their bathrooms and locker rooms to kids of both sexes whenever even a single child or teenager announces he or she has the “gender identity” of the opposite sex. The new rule — which is not law but is backed by federal threats to sue or slash funding — would impact roughly 55 million children.
Trump followed the same pro-federalism script when asked about Obama’s bathroom policy on NBC’s Today show. “I think this should be a states’ issue. It’s become a huge story and yet it affects — and everybody has to be protected, if it’s one person — but it’s a tiny, tiny portion of the population, and it’s become a massive story,” Trump said.
Trump declined to get into the justice of Obama’s support for transgender claims and the “gender identity’ ideology.
Many school officials welcome the new federal ideology of fluid “gender identity,” and many are reluctant to spend the money needed to fight federal or progressive lawyers.
Obama’s imposition of the new “gender identity” policy is likely to be hated by many parents, partly because it tries to exclude them from their children’s sexual development. In general, progressives argue that men and women, young boys and girls, should be free to adopt, create, and discard multiple varieties of temporary “gender identities” as they please, with or without the support of their parents and communities. That gender-fluid society, they insist, would be better than the civic rules which Americans have gradually developed to maximize benefits from the two distinct sexes’ different average capabilities and preferences.
Trump has tried to avoid the issue. In April, he downplayed the issue, saying transgender star Bruce Jenner could use the women’s bathrooms at his hotels. He lamented the cost to businesses caused by political disputes, such as the gender dispute in North Carolina, before he publicly endorsed the federalist argument that the dispute should be delegated to states and cities.
“There have been very few complaints the way it is. People go, they use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate, there has been so little trouble,” Trump said. “North Carolina, what they’re going through with all the business that is leaving and strife — and it’s on both sides — you leave it the way it is,” he said when asked about North Carolina’s law, which protects the sexual privacy of Americans and also allows transgender people to use the other sex’s bathrooms once they go through a medical procedure to change the sex on their birth-certificate.
“I love North Carolina, and they have a law, and it’s a law that, you know, unfortunately is causing them some problems,” Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity in an interview Thursday night. “And I fully understand that they want to go through, but they are losing business, and they are having people come out against.”
“I think that local communities and states should make the decision,”Trump went on to say. “And I feel very strongly about that. The federal government should not be involved.”
“In other words, let the state decide,” Hannity responded. “Kind of like your positions on education, give it back to the states.”
“Yeah, let them decide,” Trump said. “Absolutely.”
Public opinion has shifted rapidly on the issue as voters realize the threat posed by “gender identity” to sexual privacy and to civic rules about the two sexes. For example, Target stores have been hit by a damaging consumer boycott after they imposed a pro-transgender policy that opened single-sex changing rooms to both sexes.
Only about one in every 2,400 Americans have changed their name from one sex to another, according to a recent study of the 2010 census. Even pro-transgender advocates say that only one in 300 Americans are transgender.