Dayton opposes Trump’s stance, calls on Minnesota districts to create own policies
St. Paul, MN – Democratic Governor Mark Dayton commented Thursday on President Donald Trump’s recent actions on transgender student bathroom use.
On Wednesday the Departments of Justice and Education issued a joint statement rescinding instructions for schools saying they must allow transgender students to access bathrooms, locker rooms, or single-sex programs according to the gender they self-identify as.
During a press conference Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Mr. Trump believes the treatment of transgender students in public schools is “a states’ rights issue.”
Dayton disagrees that this should be a states’ rights issue, stating the following in a press release:
“I strongly disagree with the Trump Administration’s decision to withdraw the protections that his predecessor provided to transgender students in being able to use the school bathrooms, which match their gender identities. This is not a ‘States’ Rights Issue;’ it is a Human Rights Issue. And it should be a Constitutionally-protected right, if the long-stated purpose of the United States Constitution is to protect a minority of people from oppression by some, who are in the majority.”
Dayton notes that Minnesota school districts have “the authority, and the responsibility” to develop their own guidelines for which bathrooms and locker rooms their transgender students may use.
Dayton then urges schools to develop policies in accordance with President Obama’s stances on the issue, and claims those who oppose his stance are trying to “demonize” the students:
“As a person of Christian faith, I am mystified that others, who profess to be people of faith, could demonize schoolchildren, who simply want to go to the bathroom. The vile fantasies some of those adults conjure up, which supposedly require their ‘protection,’ are more accurately reflections of their own imaginations than real-world realities.”
Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith also issued a statement in opposition to President Trump:
“All students deserve to be protected from discrimination, bullying and hate. The reasonable protections put in place by President Obama assured the basic dignity of all transgender students.”