Federal Judge Blocks Obama’s Transgender School Mandate

gender_symbolsThis month has been full of reasons to celebrate for social conservatives. First, religious liberty activists won a major victory in California, putting pressure on far-left legislators to back down from an aggressively anti-religious freedom bill. Then, new polling came out, confirming that the American people think the Democratic Party’s position on abortion is unconscionably radical. More recently, Target had to change their “transgender bathroom” policy because a boycott orchestrated by social conservatives cost them over $10 billion in revenue.

The latest good news is that a federal judge has blocked President Obama’s most recent unconstitutional executive order, mandating dramatic changes in bathroom and locker room policy in local schools to accommodate transgender minorities.

U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor found that forcing schools across the country to change longstanding policy on such short notice — the changes are meant to be implemented for the new school year in September — presented “severe disruption” to schools’ functioning, as well as threats to local control of education and privacy matters.

“This case presents the difficult issue of balancing the protection of students’ rights and that of personal privacy when using school bathrooms, locker rooms, showers, and other intimate facilities, while ensuring that no student is unnecessarily marginalized while attending school,” O’Connor said. “The resolution of this difficult policy issue is not, however, the subject of this order.”

As the legal battle lines are being drawn around this policy, the science surrounding gender dysphoria (the medical term for transgenderism) is turning increasingly against LGBT activists’ ideology.

In a study for The New Atlantis released today, two Johns Hopkins scholars and experts on mental health, Lawrence Mayer and Paul McHugh, raise serious questions about the psychological effects of imposing gender ideology on children. Rates of self-harm and suicide are significantly higher among transgender youth than other subgroups, and McHugh and Mayer fear that continuing to push the boundaries may be inimical to human flourishing.

In light of this new research, Judge O’Connor ought to be applauded for blocking this unconstitutional meddling by the Obama administration. His decision has preserved students’ privacy rights and local control of education, not to mention keeping gender ideology from further infiltrating school districts this academic year.

Conservatives can only hope the Supreme Court follows his lead and decides to strike down these mandates once and for all.

Michael Lucchese works for the American Principles Project.