Today I donated to the National Center for Transgender Equality, an organization that works toward ensuring that transgender individuals are advocated for in Washington, D.C. Given POTUS’ actions today, it is apparent that transgender individuals are not going to be valued by the administration. Organizations like the NCTE and others (listed on the resources page) will need our support now more than ever.
It has come to light that POTUS’ son-in-law Jared Kushner is acting as a “shadow diplomat” for U.S. foreign relations, most notably with Mexico. Essentially, he has been performing back channel diplomacy to mitigate the crises caused by his father-in-law. Backchanneling through unofficial (and thereby unaccountable) representatives is nothing new, though it’s rare to see it so close to the Oval Office. Though he has literally no experience in diplomacy or foreign relations, Kushner has proved to be good at getting POTUS to compromise.
The big news story of the day involves some background.
First, I’m sure you all remember the “bathroom laws” passed in North Carolina and beyond the last several years, targeting transgender individuals’ ability to use the bathrooms and locker rooms they identify with. In response to these arcane and inhumane laws, the Obama administration came out with guidelines that stated transgender students’ access to these facilities was protected under existing federal civil rights law. So, because people suck, a lawsuit was brought by more than a dozen states against the administration’s position. The Obama administration then appealed an injunction filed on behalf of the suit.
So now to today: POTUS has dropped the federal government’s challenge to that injunction. This means they are not pushing back against the lawsuit being applied nationwide, rather than just to the filing states. It’s an alarming move, and though it has relatively minor effects now, it signals a broader shift away from defending transgender rights.