In response to President Trump rescinding Obama era protections for transgender persons, daytime talk show host Ellen DeGeneres took to her Twitter account to respond.
“Just seeing the news about removing laws protesting trans people,” she posted. “This isn’t about politics. It’s about human rights, and it’s not okay.”
Just seeing the news about removing laws protecting trans people. This isn’t about politics. It’s about human rights, and it’s not okay.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) February 23, 2017
DeGeneres is an advocate for LGBT causes, as she herself is a gay woman. But her criticism is slightly inaccurate, as the guidelines set out by former President Obama did not have the force of law, and Trump’s directive would not remove such laws.
The issue was debated on CNN between Kayleigh McEnany, a Trump supporter, and Angela Rye, the former executive director for the Congressional Black Caucus.
“I do not mind if Kaitlyn Jenner uses the same bathroom as me,” McEnany stated. “But as a policy basis, deference to the states is a core key component of conservative ideology. Having states decide this, Paul, I would point out out to you that the discrimination laws that protect transgender individuals are still in place. Donald Trump wants to protect these individuals.”
“However, the reason conservatives want this left up to the states,” she continued, “is that I do believe there is a viable argument, not that transgender individuals pose any harm, but that this could be utilized by some men, for instance, to go into female bathrooms, it’s happened at Target, which does have the same policy in place. Voyeurism issues where cameras were put by men taking advantage of the policies, not transgender individuals, men, straight men coming in and really being a predator against women.”
“Transgender also doesn’t mean that someone is not straight,” Rye corrected McEnany.
I just want to make this point because I think it’s important. We are of course in black history month. We know the hard fought battle that Americans had for civil rights. And these same civil rights were meant to extend to LGBTQ communities.
And I think regardless of whether you agree with someone using your bathroom or not, this is a major step backwards. And Donald Trump allowed this because he had a loyal ride-or-die supporter in Jeff Sessions. And he is giving Jeff Sessions what he wants. I think he forgot about what he said on the Today Show and it’s all about loyalty to Donald Trump.
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) February 23, 2017
Meanwhile over at the White House, several hundred LGBT advocates are protesting the order.
— Lauryn Gutierrez (@GutzyLo) February 22, 2017
— Our Revolution (@OurRevolution) February 22, 2017
LGBT rally outside White House. pic.twitter.com/eUzW1gYTWn
— Sheryl Gay Stolberg (@SherylNYT) February 22, 2017
The Trump administration had signaled a pull back on transgender issues when they quietly had the Department of Justice back down from fighting the states that were suing against Obama’s transgender guidance. In recent months, the LGBT lobby has claimed victories as the Boy Scouts dropped gender requirements from new members, the U.S. military allowed transgender “safe space” training for millennials, and the NFL pressured Texas to adhere to their transgender bathroom standards.