>> The White House taking a bold step Friday to protect the rights of transgender students across the country, and it's already causing a backlash. In a letter signed by the education, and justice departments, the Obama administration on Friday, telling all US public school officials students should be allowed to use bathrooms that match their gender identity.
Rather than the ones meant for their sex at birth, reuters Megan Cassela is covering the story.>> This is a warning, and a directive, that by itself doesn't carry the force of law, but it's clearly saying that this is the way that our administration interprets these existing antidiscrimination laws.
They're explicitly saying here that they do include transgender students, they include the entire gay, lesbian, transgender community. And, so what they're saying here is that, if you're discriminating against those students with laws including those that determine which bathroom students can use. That that's a violation of the laws, and that's a reason for them to withdraw federal funding.
>> The move comes, as the justice department in North Carolina, battle over a controversial new law in that state, limiting access to public bathrooms for transgender people, and it's already sparked outrage among those who see it, as another example of government overreach. One school official in Texas, telling local media, he'll send the letters to the paper shredder when he gets it, and the state's Lieutenant Governor, calling it political correctness run a muck.
>> He says he's going to withhold funding, if schools do not follow the policy. Well, in Texas, he can keep his 30 pieces of silver. We will not yield to blackmail from the president of the United States.>> The administration says a parent, or guardian should confirm a student's gender identity, but that a medical diagnosis, or proof of hormone treatment is not necessary.
The issue of bathroom access has galvanized social conservatives, since North Carolina passed it's law, but US Attorney General Loretta Lynch this week said the state is inventing a problem where one doesn't exist.