Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick says the state will ''not yield to blackmail'' by U.S. President Barack Obama on the administration's directive to give transgender students bathroom rights. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Responding to the Obama administration's directive to give transgender students bathroom rights, Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick says the state will not be blackmailed by the U.S. President. The White House told U.S. public school districts across the country on Friday to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms that match their gender identity, rather than their gender at birth. The new guidance comes as the Justice Department and North Carolina battle in federal court over a state law passed in March that prohibits people from using public restrooms not corresponding to their biological sex. Officials from the Education and Justice departments told schools that while the new guidance does not carry legal weight, they are obligated not to discriminate against students, including based on their gender identity. The guidance contains an implicit threat that those not abiding by the Obama administration's interpretation of the law could face lawsuits or a loss of federal aid. As a condition of receiving federal funds, the letter said, a school agrees that it will not treat any person in its educational programs or activities differently on the basis of sex. It added that the administration's interpretation of existing regulations means that a school cannot treat a transgender student differently from other students of the same gender identity.