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Texas Senate GOP Caucus Wants Rights of All Students to Be Respected

May 23, 2016

Austin – The Texas Senate Republican Caucus has released an open letter, signed by every Caucus member, to Texas school district superintendents and trustees in regards to the recently released “Dear Colleague” letter from the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education outlining “significant guidance” to school districts on allowing students to use the bathroom of their “gender identity”, defined as an individual’s “internal sense of gender.” The Texas Senate GOP Caucus has urged all school districts throughout the State to ignore this letter until questions of its legality are resolved. When asked to defend his statements, President Obama stated in an interview that this guidance letter was their “best judgment” on how to address the issue.

“We believe this issue should be addressed by using common sense and the best judgment on the part of the parties involved in a specific case, respecting the rights and privacy of ALL the children who might be affected,” said Senator Joan Huffman.

In their letter, the Department of Education’s and the Department of Justice’s interpretations of sex discrimination include not only an individual’s biological sex, but also an individual’s “internal sense of gender.” However, of the thirty-five legal footnotes provided in the document, not a single one substantiates this claim. There has been no federal law enacted or Supreme Court ruling to provide a legal basis for this overreach.

“In what has become the new normal, the White House has attempted to unilaterally write law,” said Caucus Chairman Paul Bettencourt. “Of the thirty-five legal footnotes used to support the letter, not one supports the idea that Title IX applies to a student’s transgender status or internal sense of gender identity. There has been no federal law passed and no Supreme Court ruling that would justify the President’s attempt to unilaterally change how bathrooms at educational facilities are used.”

For a complete statement of the Texas Senate GOP Caucus’ position please refer to the attached letter.

Texas GOP Caucus Letter Gender ID

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Texas Senate Republican Caucus Chair Paul Bettencourt (R-Houston) accepted the Faith in Action Award from the Texas Pastor's Council on behalf of Senator Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham) for her work in the 85th Legislative Session.

Watch the video below and read the letter from Senator Kolkhorst here: bit.ly/2tynO1V
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