February 25, 2016 at 10:17 am EST | by Chris Johnson
RNC endorses anti-trans bathroom bills

Reince Priebus, Rebpublican National Committee, RNC, Republican Party, GOP, Republican National Convention, gay news, Washington Blade

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus(Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key).

Amid consideration in state legislatures of “papers to pee” bathroom bills aimed against transgender students, the Republican National Committee has approved a resolution endorsing the legislation.

The resolution, approved under the chairmanship of Reince Priebus, condemns as “governmental overreach” the Obama administration’s interpretation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 to prohibit discrimination against transgender students.

“The Republican National Committee calls on the Department of Education to rescind its interpretation of Title IX that wrongly includes facility use issues by transgender students,” the resolution says.

The “whereas” portion of the resolution defines gender as “the physical condition of being male or female,” saying gender is identified at birth and can be confirmed with a DNA test — which is contrary to the experience of transgender people.

The resolution also specifies Congress never included the term “gender identity” under Title IX and identifies courts that have ruled the gender provisions under the law don’t apply to transgender students.

In addition to faulting the Obama administration for its interpretation, the resolution also criticizes Hillary Clinton, who has made transgender rights part of her campaign platform.

Consequently, the resolution endorses bills in state legislature to “protect student privacy,” which are written to prohibit transgender students from using the restroom consistent with their gender identity.

“The Republican National Committee encourages state legislatures to enact laws that protect student privacy and limit the use of restrooms, locker rooms and similar facilities to members of the sex to whom the facility is designated,” the resolution says.

The RNC quietly approved the resolution along with four other unrelated resolutions last month during its winter meeting in Charleston, S.C. The anti-trans resolution came to light on Wednesday after Time Magazine’s Zeke Miller tweeted a reference to it.

Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said the anti-trans resolution is “outrageous.”

“By targeting children who are already vulnerable to bullying and harassment, the RNC is dragging trans children into their culture war and embroiling states in costly and divisive litigation, all to solve a nonexistent problem,” Keisling said. “Republican legislators in many states have put this ill-informed agenda aside to support all students. The RNC should take a cue from them.”

According to a report this week from the Human Rights Campaign, a unprecedented number of 44 anti-trans bills are pending in state legislatures in 16 states throughout the country. One is on the desk of South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard, who has until Tuesday to sign or veto the legislation.

TJ Helmstetter, a spokesperson for the Democratic National Committee, said resolution demonstrates the Republican Party “wants to keep government so small it can fit in the bathroom stall with you to check your anatomy.”

“The GOP can’t find time to consider a Supreme Court nominee, or pass immigration reform, or raise the minimum wage, or enact equal pay for women, but when it comes to attacking trans people, they’ve got all the time in the world,” Helmstetter said.

“Their hypocrisy and bigotry know no bounds,” Helmstetter added. “The Republicans’ legal interpretation of Title IX to exclude trans students underscores exactly how important it is for LGBT people to call their senators and make sure that President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee gets a fair hearing and a vote.”

The Blade has placed a request in with the RNC to seek information on the vote on the resolution, who sponsored it and why it was approved at this time.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

  • Just for the record: more Republicans have been arrested in bathrooms for lewd misconduct than trans women.


  • In a related story, the Blade reported: ” In other action at its Feb. 17 meeting, members of D.C. Log Cabin Republicans voted unanimously to endorse the re-election of lesbian businesswoman Jill Homan as D.C. Republican National Committeewoman and gay attorney Bob Kabel as D.C. Republican National Committeeman. The positions make them members of the Republican National Committee. Both said their role as RNC members during the past four years has enabled them to develop relationships with fellow RNC members from throughout the country in an effort to build support for LGBT rights within the Republican Party”

    Well clearly Kabel and Homan have failed miserably. This comes as no surprise to anyone other than perhaps LCR’s board and “leadership.” And what does LCR do following this affront to the transgender community, the same thing they always do when Big Daddy slaps them down….nothing. The RNC quietly approved the resolution and Kabel, Homan and LCR were apparently content to let them get away with it. Then again maybe Kabel, Homan and LCR actually agree. Any insight on that Mr. Johnson?

  • Maybe you should do some research into the requirements for a legal gender transition. 95% of the time you would never notice if there was a transgender person standing next to you; they look like everyone else, regardless of any surgeries they may or may not have had.

    • I really don’t care if they DONT look like everyone else, but in bathrooms and changing rooms, pre-op, the difference is quite obvious in a certain region and in those cases the privacy and emotional needs of everyone else in those rooms should be taken into account. It’s a question of boundaries, which need to be black and white for legal reasons, and I think the reasonable boundary is “pre-op/post-op”. It’s one thing to advocate sensitivity and tolerance, it’s quite another to force America’s daughters to change in front of someone who is still on the “boy” side of the transition.

      • Right, because we all know that if a woman catches a two-second accidental glimpse of someone’s anatomy, she’ll be scarred for life. TRAUMATIZED, even. DAMAGED!!!!

      • Yet you’d force women and girls to change in front of someone who’s transitioned to male because he’s still got a vagina he’s hopefully not waving around? Your argument pretty much ignores the fact that trans people actually exist. This is not an opportunity for theoretical discussion. Beyond being hateful and discriminatory, claiming that facilities should be segregated by chromosomal makeup is impractical and impossible, and a clear invitation for government overreach into EVERYONE’s pants.

      • Do you mean to say that you go around checking out other guys’ junk when you’re peeing? Or peeping through cracks in stalls? Because the rest of us sure aren’t doing that.

  • It seems familiar to me…. The religious people of our time are doing what the Pharisees did over 2000 years ago… They are taking a hot button issue and using it as a way to call out their own righteousness just like was recorded in John 8:1-11. Thing is, Jesus only condemned the self righteousness of the religious leaders. As Christians, we truly do need to be more Christ like and learn to love God first, and everyone else second. We are not to “take up arms in the name of God” like Peter did when he cut off the ear of the Centurian, which Jesus condemned, but we are to find ways to love the unlovable like is called out in Proverbs 31:8-9, and become the voice for the oppressed. Yes I am a Christian….. and yes….. I am Trans.

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