A question of basic rights

March 10, 2017 8:20 am

Battle over bathroom preference, privacy continues under Trump administration

“Because its equal, you go to the bathroom, I go to the bathroom, everyone we know goes to the bathroom, it is a human decency issue,” said Isiah Merriweather, on the subject of transgender rights. “People should just be able to go. It is a natural human thing. It’s basic.”

In February, President Donald Trump rescinded the Obama administration’s guidelines requiring federally funded schools to allow transgender individuals to use the bathroom of the gender they identify as.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Trump is “a firm believer in states’ rights and that certain issues like this are not best dealt with at the Federal level.”

Due to the Trump administration’s policy changes, the Supreme Court has opted to leave court cases involving this issue to the lower courts.

This significantly changes the high profile case that involved Gavin Grimms from Virginia who was suing to be able to use the men’s bathroom.

Grimms’ case was slated to be heard by the Supreme Court in late march but will now be handled by the appeals court in Richmond, Virginia.

However, this change in policy doesn’t affect all states. Fifteen states, including California, have strict policies that protect transgender youth.

As of last semester, Delta College has two gender neutral bathrooms, located in the Forum buildings.  

“(For)  Years now the students had been advocating for a gender-neutral bathrooms on campus, I would say the process got really going a year and a half ago when a student started attending facilities meetings to advocate for gender-neutral bathrooms,” said Kirstyn Russell, adviser to the Delta Pride club, which is currently on hiatus. Delta student April Simental said she sees the value.

“Gender neutral bathroom isn’t such a big deal for me, personally. As long as the door is safely locked then you should be fine. Maybe someone wants to use the neutral bathrooms so they can have more privacy,” said Simental.

Not all responses are positive.

All over social media people from both sides of the argument have been voicing opinions. A sampling from Twitter shows the divide.

“The transgender issue belongs at the local level & repeal of fed regs is good, but hostility conservs treat to ppl disgusts me. Have compassion!” said, John Manto @johnmanko.

“Trump, a so-called champion of the LGBTQ community just approved the repeal of title lX, protecting Transgender youth, Trump lies yet again!” wrote Ron Correll, @correllron.

In an email interview, Human Resource manager Jennifer Boland said “the district remains committed to and greatly value a diverse, inclusive supportive, safe, and nondiscriminatory environment in which all members of the campus can feel valued and respected.”