Education

White House To Host Summit With Activists Behind Gender Neutral School Bathrooms

REUTERS/Jim Young

Peter Hasson Senior Reporter

The White House is scheduled to co-host an LGBT summit with a group of activists who are leading the charge to let schoolchildren decide which gender they are and which bathroom they want to use, regardless of parental knowledge or input.

The White House Summit on LGBT Issues on April 21 will be co-hosted by Equality Michigan, an LGBT advocacy group earnestly pushing to let Michigan schoolchildren use whichever bathroom they identify with. Catherine Lhamon, assistant secretary for civil rights at the U.S. Department of Education, will deliver the event’s keynote address at the University of Michigan — Dearborn’s campus.

Equality Michigan has been a vocal advocate of a guidance drafted by the Michigan Board of Education that would pressure the state’s public schools to let schoolchildren choose their gender, pronouns and bathroom. Three weeks before releasing the guidance to the public (without a press release), board president John Austin attended the “Michigan Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Conference.” At the conference, Austin thanked attendees, including executive director of Equality Michigan Steph White, for “working with us at the State to provide this needed guidance.”

On March 23, the organization issued a statement calling on its members to vocally back the proposed guidance, which it called “a welcome step forward” and “exactly the right thing to do.”

The statement also claimed that the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights — Lhamon’s department — made clear that Title IX covers claims based on an individual’s “failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity.”

Despite strong protests from parents who don’t want boys in their daughters’ locker rooms, Equality Michigan has kept its foot on the gas pedal, encouraging its supporters to fight back against the “homophobia” and “transphobia” of those who oppose the proposed guidance.

The organization is also a fierce opponent of Christianity, openly opposing religious freedom legislation, which it deems “harmful.” The group’s website warns of an “anti-gay industry” that includes “evangelical and Roman Catholic leaders” who spread “myths and lies about LGBT people for political and financial gain.”

Lhamon is sympathetic to the group’s efforts. Last November, she ordered a taxpayer-funded school district to allow a biological male to use the girls’ showers and locker rooms, threatening to pull the district’s funding if it didn’t comply (it did).

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