Hysteria Over Trump Transgender Bathroom Rule
When the Trump administration rescinded the transgender bathroom guidance in February, the mainstream media portrayed it as a frontal assault on civil rights. But most Americans didn’t agree. They saw Trump’s policy for what it was—an effort to rein in one of the Obama administration’s more serious bureaucratic overreaches.
Nevertheless, the “sky is falling” narrative has continued. Recently, Trump has been accused of slashing the budgets of the two agencies originally responsible for the transgender guidance. Given how frequently those agencies overstepped their authority in recent years, cuts are entirely appropriate. But Trump’s proposal is mild—maybe even too mild. It increases slightly the budget for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division to $148.1 million. While it reduces by a modest 1.6% the current $108.5 million allotment for the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights, that comes only after extravagant increases in the Obama administration’s final years.
The ability to discuss sensitive issues without demonizing one’s ideological opponents is vital in a democracy. But it seems that Trump Derangement Syndrome is making civil debate about the transgender issue difficult. Two weeks ago, Trump’s OCR quietly closed its investigation into an Ohio school that had declined to permit an anatomically male transgender student to use the girls’ facilities. This was hardly newsworthy. The investigation had already established the facts. OCR is simply awaiting the resolution of litigation filed last year on the complaining student’s behalf. Nevertheless, the Washington Post took the opportunity to quote a source who insisted the Trump administration was declaring “open season on transgender students.” The Post article accused Trump’s OCR of pushing “to scale back civil rights” and complained that “no reason or legal justification” had been provided for its failure to hold the school in violation of Title IX.