Dept of Education Leaves Trans Students Behind: Feb 16 Debrief

The Department of Education is choosing to
allow discrimination against trans students. The Trump administration continues to go after
trans service members. Republican lawmakers vote to make anti-gay
activist a federal court judge. And politicians are trying to shut down an
LGBT college group in Tennessee — but alumni are fighting back and they need your help. We’ll have the week’s top LGBT news and action
you can take on Weekly Debrief. Weekly Debrief is made possible by everyone
who pledges a dollar or more a month on Patreon — visit or click the
link in the description to help keep these videos going. The Trump administration is about to unveil
a new policy on trans people in the military, and although we don’t know what it’s going
to be, we can safely assume it’s not going to be good. For months now, the administration has maintained
that trans people should not be allowed in the military. But although they’ve tried to implement a
ban, courts have so far ruled that there’s no legal basis to do so, and have allowed
trans soldiers to continue serving. But now the Department of Justice has revealed
that they’re expecting a new policy to come on February 21. There’s no telling what that policy might
be, or how it’ll be any different from the administration’s past failed attempts at banning
trans service. All we know is that Trump officials remain
hostile to LGBT people. Meanwhile, this week the Department of Education
announced that they’ll no longer investigate acts of discrimination against trans students
in locker rooms and bathrooms. Previously, students could file federal complaints
if they were discriminated against by their school. For example, a few years ago a school in Wisconsin
tried to implement a policy forcing trans students to wear bright green labels identifying
themselves as trans and prohibiting them from using bathrooms on school grounds. In cases like that, students could ask the
federal government to intervene. But now, the government’s new policy is that
if complaints are coming from trans students, those complaints will be ignored. This means that schools can now impose significant
barriers to trans students getting an education — blocking them from using facilities that
they need to use while going to school. With the government no longer advocating for
equal access to the military and education, LGBT peoples’ best recourse is to turn to
the courts for protection. And courts have so far tended to rule in favor
of equal access. But that might not last much longer. Trump is stacking the judicial system with
radical anti-LGBT activists. These appointments are lifetime, so we could
be stuck with these judges for decades. This week a Senate Committee held a hearing
on the judicial nomination of Harry Nielson. Not only was he one of the lawyers who defended
Prop 8, but he argued that gay judges shouldn’t be allowed to hear cases about gay people. And more recently, he argued that same-sex
couples should be blocked from getting married because they’re unfit to be parents. Neilson’s nomination passed the committee
this week on a party-line vote. Now he heads to the full Senate. If he’s confirmed, he’ll get a lifetime appointment
— which means future cases about LGBT issues could be heard by a judge who’s spent the
last decade trying to block equal rights for queer people. Lawmakers in Tennessee passed a bill that
strips funding away from the University of Tennessee’s Pride Center. That means the elimination of vital services
such as support groups, training to prevent sexual assault, dealing with STIs, combatting
homophobia in sports programs, and more. Programs for LGBT youth are vital, particularly
in states like Tennessee where they’re more likely to be ostracized, and the closing of
the center could leave many with nowhere to turn. But now alumni are stepping up to keep the
center open. They’ll need to raise $3 million to make up
for the budget cuts. So they’ve launched a campaign to raise those
funds, and an initial fundraiser brought in $300,000 in the first week. But that still leaves a long way to go. So this week’s action item is to visit
— the “vol” refers to volunteers — and chip in to help keep the lights on for LGBT youth
in the south. Thanks to everyone who supports Weekly Debrief
with a pledge of a dollar or more a month on Patreon. There’s rewards for folks to pledge, and you
help make these weekly videos possible. Visit or visit the link
in the description. You can get in touch @mattbaume on Twitter
— and I’ll debrief you next week.

12 thoughts on “Dept of Education Leaves Trans Students Behind: Feb 16 Debrief”

  1. During her confirmation hearing Betsy DeVos stated, "I fully embrace equality, and I believe in the innate value of every single human being and that all students, no matter their age, should be able to attend a school and feel safe and be free of discrimination." And now it's her Department that is dismantling safeguards against discrimination. I don't know what our takeaway should be from this: don't trust lying liars who lie, or to never trust Republicans to hold their own accountable for their testimonies.

  2. Thank you so very much for doing this good work, Matt.

    These people are disgusting. How can a human being treat other human beings like this? I don't care what "god" a person claims to believe in or what authority they claim. There is no justification for treating other humans as less than you.

  3. How does ones gender identity determine their ability to serve? If one is willing and able, that is all that should matter.

  4. I am a trans student. I am so afraid of using the bathroom of either sex, that I have to walk 5 Minutes to a bathroom meant for teachers. If you're going to make me use the women's restroom, make it so that the girls won't scream tranny at me and wonder why a boy is in the restroom with them. If you let me use the men's restroom, make it so that I won't be beaten up or yelled at for being authentic to myself. I am not less than you. I am just the same as you. I don't deserve to be treated like a sexual predator or someone who has a mental illness worthy of "counseling" if you're going to make me use the bathroom on my birth certificate, take measurements to make sure that it is safe for me. We are the victims of this situation.

  5. I’m not sure what urls you want to blacklist from advertising but an add urging the repeal of sanctuary cities in my state played before this.

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