Dayton rejects Trump administration’s handling of over transgender bathroom edict

Published 8:49 am Friday, February 24, 2017

By Rachel E. Stassen-Berger

St. Paul Pioneer Press

The Trump administration’s decision to rescind federal protections for transgender students was met with a rebuke from Minnesota’s governor, vows of support from educators and praise from advocates for student privacy.

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Gov. Mark Dayton was unequivocal in his rejection of the President Donald Trump administration’s claim the rights of transgender students to use bathrooms that match their gender identity should be left up to the states. The change, announced Wednesday, is a reversal from the Obama administration’s position that federal anti-discrimination laws required schools to allow students access to facilities that corresponded to their gender identity.

“This is not a ‘state’s right’ issue, this is a human rights issue. And it should be a constitutionally protected right,” the Democratic-Farmer-Labor governor said. “As a person of faith, I am mystified that others who profess to be people of faith demonize school children (who) simply want to go to the bathroom.”

Stephani Liesmaki, communications director of the Minnesota Family Council, called Trump’s move a “common sense decision” that recognized the local discretion of state and school leaders.