The RNC Has Officially Endorsed ‘Bathroom Bills’ That Attack Trans Kids

The Republican National Committee has officially backed anti-trans “bathroom bills” that are being introduced across the United States that target trans children, using the tired and false belief that trans access to bathrooms violates the privacy, freedom of conscience, and safety of other students.

The resolution, which was adopted alongside a number of other unrelated resolutions during the RNC’s winter meeting in Charleston, S.C., went largely unnoticed until Time Magazine’s Zeke Miller drew attention to it on social media.

The resolution attacks the Obama administration’s gender identity-inclusive interpretation of Title IX saying that Congress has never interpreted Title IX discrimination protections to cover trans kids. It also misleadingly states that the federal courts have ruled that, “Title IX does not extend to claims of discrimination based on gender identity and that schools can maintain separate restrooms, locker rooms and other facilities on the basis of sex where privacy is a concern.”

This is technically true. Mostly recently Virginia student Gavin Grimm lost at the district court level in his case against his school. However, that decision is now on appeal. Other federal courts have ruled with regards to gender identity and sex being interchangeable under provisions in the Civil Rights Act and so conferring protections, while others courts have said they are not convinced. At any rate, painting this as a matter of settled law is cherry-picking.

Nevertheless, on this basis the RNC have adopted the following language which explicitly condones and encourages the anti-trans student bills that are popping up across the United States:

RESOLVED, 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;

RESOLVED, The Republican National Committee encourages State Legislatures to recognize that these Obama gender identity policies are a federal governmental overreach, a misinterpretation of Title IX policies, and an infringement upon the majority of students’ Constitutional rights; and

RESOLVED, 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 Washington Blade quotes Mara Keisling, executive director at the National Center for Transgender Equality, as calling this resolution “outrageous” and saying that “the RNC is dragging trans children into their culture war and embroiling states in costly and divisive litigation, all to solve a nonexistent problem. Republican legislators in many states have put this ill-informed agenda aside to support all students. The RNC should take a cue from them.”

What’s interesting about this is that the RNC is supporting bills that specifically target trans kids under the notion of fighting “government overreach.” Testing that premise though, we find that Republican lawmakers are being far more antagonistic. The Obama administration and the Department of Education have carefully extended sex classification protections to apply to trans kids. Many school districts had already adopted similar policies on their own and this interpretation of existing federal law makes those protections uniform.

What the RNC is backing however is legislation like that in South Dakota that essentially requires kids to prove their gender. These so called “Papers to Pee” bills, and legislation that essentially prohibits trans kids from playing sports, are creating intrusive and dehumanizing gender tests for children. Not only is this government overreach, bills that even tacitly support gender testing are obviously unconstitutional. Yet this is the standard the RNC seems to be endorsing with this resolution. Not only is that unfair, it smacks of a party whose priorities are creating a limited government only when it benefits them and their ideological/religious leanings.

In somewhat related news, at the time of writing, the Republican Governor of South Dakota Dennis Daugaard has vetoed a bill that would demonize trans children and block them from using facilities that accord with their gender identity. In his veto Daugaard says the bill does not answer any pressing issue and that he believes the legislation amounts to government overreach. We will keep you updated on the latest South Dakota bill news throughout the next few days as the legislature decides whether to try to override the veto or let the bill die.

Photo credit: Thinkstock.


Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill3 years ago

I don't want to use the restroom with a man who is living as a woman any more than I want my little girl (or boy) to do it. These bills open a whole terrible can of worms!

Amanda M.
Amanda M3 years ago

Yet ANOTHER reason why I am not and will NEVER be a Rethuglican! Their ideal world is one in which everybody is hetero, cisgender, Christian, and "knows their place" (meaning men make the money and women stay home to spend their lives barefoot, pregnant, and under a man's feet). BLECH.

Marie W.
Marie W3 years ago

Typical GOP.

Kathryn Irby
Past Member 3 years ago


Mark Vaughan
Mark Vaughan3 years ago

A few points on this issue; Trans people suffer from more mental health disorders, anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. This is a fact, and it happens at 4-6 times the rate as “normal” people. This study shows that Trans Kids who are allowed to be their identified gender have rates of anxiety and depression the same as “normal” kids. Correlation is not causation. There could be many factors here; it could be parental knowledge leads them to teach their trans kids to be more resilient, because they know they will have to be. That does not matter. The important thing is; try to force a trans girl to act like a boy, and it causes anxiety and depression that can lead to substance abuse and suicide at a vastly higher rate.
The reason LGBT people have more mental disorders is because they have more stress. And the cause of the stress is not LGBT people, but the non-accepting society that wants to force them to be something they are not. For a gay man, it’s about who they love, and being able to be honest about their lives. For a Trans girl trapped in a body with a penis, it’s about practically everything in their life. Gender is about as fundamental as you get.
So, we don’t have to understand the mechanism to gain the benefits. Just like you don’t have to be an electrical engineer to use a light bulb. You flip the swi

Kathryn Irby
Past Member 3 years ago

Of no great surprise! Thanks for posting.

Glennis Whitney
Glennis W3 years ago

Get a life, times are a changing, this 2016 not the 1950's Thank you from caring and sharing

Darryll Green
Darryll Green3 years ago

Then explain this -

Margaret Goodman
Margaret G3 years ago

My apologies for misspelling Tracie's name.

I'm not worried about a transsexual using the same women's room that I'm using. I have been worried about a straight male with bad intentions walking into the women's room that I'm using.

Illustration: I once had pizza at a restaurant whose ladies room was in an isolated hallway that was nevertheless open to anyone coming in from the outside. To use it I requested that one of my friends accompany me to the restroom.