President Obama's bathroom "obsession" now has spread into the 2016 presidential race, which offers a clear choice on whether gender-segregated public school restrooms and facilities must be open to students based on their "gender identity."
Advertisement - story continues below
It was the Washington Post that reported likely Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton favors the order Obama issued to public schools Friday.
"Hillary Clinton applauds the Obama administration for taking actions this week to stand up for the rights of LGBT people – and particularly for the rights of transgender people – across the country. As president, she will fight to make sure all Americans can live their lives free from discrimination," campaign spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa told the Post.
The Republican presumptive nominee, Donald Trump, however, said the feds should stay out of it.
"I believe it should be states' rights, and I think the states should make the decision, they're more capable of making the decision," he said on ABC's "Good Morning America" program.
"I think many things actually should be states' rights, but this is a perfect example of it."
Advertisement - story continues below
But on April 21, when asked about the new bathroom law in North Carolina, Trump said the state should have left "it the way it is" and that transgenders should be able to use whatever bathroom they want.
"Oh, I had a feeling that question was going to come up, I will tell you. North Carolina did something that was very strong. And they're paying a big price. There's a lot of problems," the Republican presidential candidate said during a town hall event on NBC's "Today."
"There have been very few complaints the way it is. People go. They use the bathroom that they feel is appropriate," Trump added. "There has been so little trouble. And the problem with what happened in North Carolina is the strife and the economic – I mean, the economic punishment that they're taking."
The Obama administration ordered Friday that public schools must allow boys who say they're girls into boys facilities and vice versa.
Advertisement - story continues below
The move is part of the Obama administration's larger effort to establish special rights for transgendered people.
Talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh immediately took up the issue, which he called "Obama's transgender obsession."
Advertisement - story continues below
"Remember when a lot of people took their kids out of schools to start teaching them at home, and remember how they were called a bunch of fruitcakes and extremists and paranoids and all kinds of names? How do they look to you now? They look somewhat prescient, do they not?" he started out.
"I mean, you look at what's going on the American public school system. But what is it with this transgender push? I know that most of the story is that the gay movement has realized its agenda, so they've gotta they've gotta transfer that energy somewhere and transgenders is the next."
Limbaugh recalled when he blasted Obama's plan in 2009 to police the fine print on consumer products.
"You could legalize rape and call it the consumer something, and it would pass," he said. "You're protecting consumers. Likewise you could legalize rape and call it the Civil Rights Act of 2009. It would probably pass because who would have the guts to vote against something with civil rights in it?"
He cited the work of Johns Hopkins psychiatrist Paul McHugh, who "said that transgenderism is a 'mental disorder' that merits treatment, that sex change is 'biologically impossible,' and that people who promote sexual reassignment surgery are collaborating with and promoting a mental disorder."
He noted McHugh is author of six books and "at least 125 peer-reviewed medical articles."
"[McHugh] also reported on a new study showing that the suicide rate among transgendered people who had reassignment surgery is 20 times higher than the suicide rate among non-transgender people. Dr. McHugh further noted studies from Vanderbilt University and London's Portman Clinic of children who had expressed transgender feelings but for whom, over time, 70 percent to 80 percent spontaneously lost those feelings," Limbaugh said.
"Aha. We may be on to something here. Dr. McHugh and his boys have studied all this, and young kids, 70 to 80 percent of them, eventually grow out of this confusion. May that's what they don't want to happen is for kids to outgrow it."
Limbaugh said the order shows how extreme Obama is.
"It affects every public school in the country, and as you sit around … you know, I analyze people's ideology, and I know leftists and liberals like the back of my hand. But I still want to throw this out because this is way, way over the top. This … I mean, this is … You want to talk about Trump or anybody on the right wing being extreme? What the hell is this? This is so far out of the mainstream."
Breitbart said the "transgender and 'gender identity' issue could become a problem for Clinton, partly because she's hoping to maximize her election-day support among women by pitching herself as the nation's first female president. But many women, with or without kids in K-12 schools, may be hostile to Obama's claim that men become female once they adopt a female 'gender identity.'"
The report pointed out Obama's order "means that 55 million K-12 kids and youths in 100,000 schools must give up their sexual privacy in bathrooms and locker rooms if even one student in their school claims to have a 'gender identity' different from their sex."
The Thomas More Society said there's simply no legal authority for Obama to makes such an order.
"These unjustified guidelines reinforce the president's political goal of forcing women to share restrooms and locker rooms with biological men despite the unconstitutional violation of every other students privacy," said special counsel Jocelyn Floyd.
"Forcing girls to share restrooms and locker rooms with biological males across the nation is an egregious invasion of privacy. Not only are the Obama administration's guidelines a direct violation of their privacy rights, they also infringe on their parents' rights. My clients don't want Obama's radical policies in their bathrooms – and there is no federal authority or legal justification for these guidelines," stated Floyd.
She was referencing a pending lawsuit over the issue in Illinois. Several other lawsuits already have been filed.
The Family Research Council noted that for years, conservatives have wanted to eliminate the Department of Education, one of two agencies that issued Obama's orders.
"The agency's outrageous order that public schools ignore the basic biology of their students in the use of bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers may have finally awakened a sleeping giant. Parents, governors, House and Senate leaders, religious groups and superintendents are incensed that the White House would threaten to pull funding for children's education over something as ridiculous and unpopular as gender-free restrooms," the group said.
International journalist and educator Alex Newman said this particular Obama administration decree illustrates the many serious problems plaguing America's education system.
"First of all, neither the federal government nor the Obama administration has a shred of constitutional authority to be meddling in public schools," declared Newman, coauthor of the book "Crimes of the Educators."
"Education is not among the enumerated powers of the federal government, and therefore schooling is properly within the jurisdiction of states or local communities. That includes bathroom policies.
"Secondly, this latest federal intrusion is typical of what has been imposed on schools across America from Washington, D.C., for generations. Rather than focusing on real education, the federally controlled schools have become indoctrination factories waging war on truth, common sense, morality and even reality."
The Obama administration frames the transgender bathroom situation as a civil rights issue, writing, "The desire to accommodate others' discomfort cannot justify a policy that singles out and disadvantages a particular class of students to ensure that all students, including transgender students, can attend school in an environment free from discrimination based on sex."
The rationale assumes that the intent of Congress in the Civil Rights Act in 1964 was to open women's restrooms, locker rooms and shower rooms to men.
"The whole transgender issue, which represents the politicization and forced celebration of a severe mental illness – and now, shoving it down the throats of hundreds of millions of Americans, including her school children – is literally insane," Kupelian said.
For almost eight years, Kupelian noted, traditional-minded Americans have pondered the reasons behind President Obama's apparently willful undermining of the country. Is it all just left-wing ideology, he asks, or is it a disorder such as "narcissistic personality disorder," as some psychiatrists have opined? Is it childhood trauma? Criminality and corruption often associated with Chicago politicians? A malevolent spiritual force working through him? Or is it all just a matter of political calculation aimed at cultivating in America a permanent left-wing voting majority?
"With his latest edict of forcing an insane, illegal and chaos-producing solution for a virtually nonexistent problem throughout all the nation's schools, something that will adversely affect tens of millions of school children, the answer comes into sharp focus: It's all of the above," Kupelian concluded. "After all, in reality these seemingly different frames of reference – ideology, personality defects, criminality, politics and so on – overlap, and are arguably just different ways of looking at the exact same phenomenon: Obama is delusional. He lives in a different mental world than most Americans."
Kupelian adds: "As I document in 'Snapping,' the political and cultural left – which gave us the sexual revolution and LGBT movement – is stark raving mad, and is now driving tens of millions of Americans right over the edge with it – into debauchery, dependency, family breakdown, crime, corruption, addiction, despair and suicide," he warned. "Most Americans actually kind of know all this, but are afraid to say it out loud because they don't want to be persecuted as 'haters' and 'bigots.'"
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, had equally little patience for such extreme behavior.
"Of all the schools and businesses I've visited in our district over the years, this issue has never been raised once. There is no need for a blanket federal restroom policy that covers every school in America, especially one that comes with the threat of retaliation from the Obama administration for failure to comply. It seems like parents, teachers, school administrators and local school boards are perfectly capable of handling any issue that arises, but unfortunately this type of blanket federal policy may tie the hands of those very parents, teachers, school administrators and local school boards who want to protect kids against dangerous situations that could arise from mixed-gender restrooms and locker rooms in schools."