AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A federal judge in Texas has temporarily blocked an Obama administration directive on bathroom rights for transgender students in U.S. public schools.
U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor in Fort Worth issued the preliminary injunction Sunday.
Texas and 12 other states, including Alabama, asked O’Connor to halt the directive after the federal government told U.S. public schools in May that transgender students must be allowed to use bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their chosen gender identity.
The U.S. District Court ruling allows schools in Alabama and nationwide to keep in place their current gender-based restroom and locker room policies.
That announcement came days after the Justice Department sued North Carolina over a state law that requires people to use public bathrooms that correspond with the gender on their birth certificates. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch had likened that law to policies of racial segregation.
“The court decision is a victory for parents and children all across Alabama,” said Attorney General Strange. “I joined the multi-state lawsuit against the Obama administration in May to prevent Alabama schools from being forced to surrender their restroom access policies to social experimenters in Washington. I am pleased the federal court has agreed to our request to stay the controversial order while our lawsuit challenging the legality of the transgender order continues.”
Republicans have argued such laws are commonsense privacy safeguards.
The 13 states that filed the lawsuit requesting the stay include Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.