US President Barack Obama has previously criticized recent discriminatory legislation and hate-speech against the LGBT community, and now the Obama administration has taken formal steps to cease the anti-transgender movement that has been spreading across schools in the United States.
The Obama administration has issued a directive that urges schools let transgender students use the bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity.
The letter, from the Department of Justice and the Department of Education, that explains the order was sent last Friday to every public school in the country.
“When a school provides sex-segregated activities and facilities, transgender students must be allowed to participate in such activities and access such facilities consistent with their gender identity,” the letter reads.
“There is no medical diagnosis or treatment requirement that students must meet as a prerequisite to being treated consistent with their gender identity.”
The directive comes after North Carolina enacted a discriminatory bathroom bill that restricts trans people to using the bathrooms that match their birth gender, and more than a dozen other states have reportedly considered such bills.
Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin applauded the federal government’s order.
He said: “These groundbreaking guidelines not only underscore the Obama administration’s position that discriminating against transgender students is flat-out against the law, but they provide public school districts with needed and specific guidance guaranteeing that transgender students should be using facilities consistent with their gender identity.”
Although the letter does not have any legal power, it alerts schools to the fact they could face lawsuits and lose federal funding if they don’t follow the instructions.
“A school’s failure to treat students consistent with their gender identity may create or contribute to a hostile environment in violation of Title IX,” the letter reads.