Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas and presidential candidate, took to Twitter Friday morning to express outrage at President Obama’s all-court press for transgender rights – specifically, to allow males to use females’ restrooms – and saying the directive issued by his Justice Department demanding schools turn a blind eye to biology and sex is a revealing insight into the president’s personality.
“It tells you a lot about a man and his priorities when he spends more time pushing transgender bathrooms …” Huckabee wrote, in one tweet.
And that was seconds later, followed by another: “… than he does on improving high school graduation rates or decreasing Black on Black violence.”
He’s hardly the one voice to express outrage at Obama’s pressed rights for transgenders, as personified most recently in the Department of Justice’s issuance of guidance to schools telling them to open bathrooms to those of both sexes, as WND reported.
Sen. John Cornyn from Texas said “what the president needs to do is focus on his job and his job is not to intervene in state and local affairs under our constitutional scheme” and clarified “this ought to be a choice made by local officials at the local level held accountable by their own voters.”
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick told NBC 5 when news of the White House directive broke that “this will be the beginning of the end of the public school system as we know it.”
He also said Obama completely thwarted the will of Congress and the people to enact his own vision of how transgenders should be treated.
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“President Obama, in the dark of the night, without consulting Congress, without consulting educators, without consulting parents, decides to issue an executive order … forcing transgender policies on schools and on parents who clearly don’t want it,” Patrick said.
But he was hardly finished.
In a press conference with reporters, Patrick also vowed not to yield to Obama’s “blackmail” approach to enacting his agenda.
“He says he’s going to withhold funding if schools do not follow the policy,” Patrick said, during a press conference. “Well in Texas, he can keep his 30 pieces of silver. We will not yield to blackmail from the president of the United States.”
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Texas schools receive about $10 billion over a two-year period from the federal government. But Patrick said most of that goes toward the free lunch and breakfast program for lower-income families with students.
“So Barack Obama, if schools don’t knuckle down to force girls showering with boys and force 8-year-old girls to have to endure boys coming into their bathroom, he’s taking money from the poorest of the poor. The president of the United States will be ending the free breakfast and free lunch program. That’s what he’s saying.”
Patrick said he’s received a “standing ovation” from “a number of caucuses” for taking on Obama’s transgender push.
“We will not sell out our children to the federal government,” he said. “And the people of Texas and the legislature will find a way to find as much of that money as we can if we are forced to. There is no compromise on this issue. This is a modern-day come-and-take-it issue, and the president of the United States, like the superintendent of Fort Worth, is not coming and taking our children.”
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And one more note: Patrick said the issue was hardly partisan.
“The president is going to find Democrat families will push back against this, Republican families, black families, white families, brown families,” he said. “This goes against the values of so many people. It has nothing to do with anything being against a transgender child or a gay child. Nothing to do. We address harassment and bullying in the country and in this state. This has everything to do with keeping the federal government out of local issues.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, meanwhile, accused Obama of “rewriting the Civil Rights Act to force states to bow down to Barack Obama’s political agenda.”
Mat Staver, Liberty Counsel’s founder and chairman said: “Studies show that one in four girls and one out of every six boys under 18 will be sexually assaulted. This unconstitutional mandate only increases those statistics. School districts that allow boys to use the girl’s restrooms, locker rooms, and showers are placing girls at risk. They will be held accountable for sexual assaults. Congress has repeatedly rejected attempts to include ‘gender identity’ or ‘sexual orientation’ in federal law. I encourage schools to fight for the privacy and protection of students and reject the Obama bullies.”
And the Alliance Defending Freedom, via senior counsel Jeremy Tedesco, issued a strong condemnation of what they characterized as federal overreach and an attack on parental rights.
“The administration’s new guidelines simply reinforce what has been abundantly clear already – that it has a political goal of forcing women to share restrooms and locker rooms with men across the nation and will spread falsehoods about federal law to achieve its aims. This is precisely why we have filed two federal lawsuits, one in Illinois and one in North Carolina, on behalf of parents and students who are understandably concerned about their children. Solutions exist to accommodate everyone without violating anyone’s privacy rights, but the administration won’t entertain those solutions because of its preference to unlawfully impose its political will through threats and intimidation.”
Not all reaction was sour.
The American Civil Liberties Union tweeted to the Department of Education: “Thank you @usedgov for ensuring transgender students are treated with the fairness, respect and dignity they deserve.”
And Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin said in a statement: “This is a truly significant moment not only for transgender young people but for all young people, sending a message that every student deserves to be treated fairly and supported by their teachers and schools.”