The White House on Friday warned states that are considering anti-transgender bills this year that those bills are illegal under federal law.
“The president believes that trans rights are human rights and that no one should be discriminated on the basis of sex. Not only is this the law of the land, it’s his own deeply held view,” said White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki during a press briefing.
Psaki was responding to a reporter’s question about President Joe Biden’s views on the dozens of state legislatures that are advancing bills that would restrict transgender youth’s access to sports and transition-related care.
“One such bill against transgender kids in sports in Mississippi has headed to the desk of Gov. Tate Reeves, who’s expected to sign it,” The Washington Blade reports. “The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last year in Bostock v. Clayton County determined anti-transgender discrimination is a form of sex discrimination, thus illegal in the workforce under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Although the ruling didn’t purport to address sports, the logic behind the decision has broad applications to all laws against sex discrimination, including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. Laws seeking to target transgender youth would seem to flout the Bostock decision as well as the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
According to HRC’s latest count, 37 bills have been proposed in state legislatures that would ban transgender girls and women from playing school sports.
Psaki then brought up Biden’s executive order that he signed on his first day in office that said that federal civil rights legislation that bans discrimination on the basis of sex also bans anti-LGBTQ discrimination.
“The anti-discrimination executive order that the president signed is focused on children being able to learn without worrying about whether they will be discriminated against,” she said. “And this means not being denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports.”
“Him signing this executive order sends a pretty clear message to state legislators, to lawmakers about where he stands on this issue and what his position is as president,” she concluded.