Supervisor Yeager Slams Trump on Transgender Bathroom Stance

Santa Clara County’s first openly gay elected official on Thursday rebuked President Donald Trump for rescinding protections of transgender students.

“Transgender students too often struggle to receive an education free from discrimination and bullying,” County Supervisor Ken Yeager said in a prepared statement. “We will continue to do everything we can to protect innocent transgender children, especially when the rights of our transgender youth are being infringed upon by [President Donald Trump].”

Under President Barack Obama, the U.S. Department of Justice determined that Title IX—which prevents federally funded schools from discriminating on the basis of sex—applies to transgender students. As part of that ruling, the DOJ instructed schools to let students to use restrooms assigned to the gender they identify.

During his first week in office, however, Attorney General Jeff Sessions walked it all back—despite Trump’s campaign vows to the contrary and despite some initial pushback from Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

Trump broke with Republicans last year by promising to protect gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) people from oppression, and he held that line even after taking office. A Jan. 31 White House statement vowed to honor the rights of all Americans, “including the LGBTQ community.”

Apparently, Trump didn’t need much convincing to change his mind.

In defending the decision at a press briefing Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer called it a matter of states’ rights, not civil rights.

“All you have to do is look at what the president’s view has been for a long time that this is not something that the federal government should be involved in,” Spicer said at a press briefing Tuesday. “This is a states’ rights issue.”

Yeager said the change of course marks an abdication of the federal government’s duty to protect the civil rights of students who face harassment for simply existing. Thankfully, Yeager added, the administration’s action does nothing to change existing protections’ in California or Santa Clara County. But the federal action could leave students in more conservative parts of the state especially vulnerable.

“By insisting that this is a state’s rights issue, rather than the civil rights issue that it is, our federal government has signaled to students in states and localities with a history of refusing to protect their rights that they are now on their own,” Yeager said.

Yeager, who became the first openly gay elected official in the region in 1992, led the creation of a countywide Office of LGBTQ Affairs in 2015.

Assemblyman Evan Low (D-San Jose), who chairs the California Legislative LGBT Caucus, called the reversal of federal policy part of an agenda of hate.

“Fortunately, the Executive Office does not have the power to singlehandedly change federal law,” Low noted in a press release. “School districts nationwide are still legally required to comply with Title IX and protect transgender students. Schools that have protected the rights of transgender students should continue to do so and those that discriminate will still face liability in court.”

He urged transgender students affected by the directive to call the Sacramento LGBT Community Center at 916.442.0185 or the Gender Health Center at 916.455.2391.

Jennifer Wadsworth is the former news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.


  1. What are you neurotics complaining about, the President is allowing you to write your own “Potty” laws. It’s not a Civil Rights Issue and it’s not a Constitutional issue. So if you want your child to see male organs in the girls bathroom write your own law and see how fast the majority Psychologically Stable people vote you out of office.

    You are just a rude and crude few million people in America that should march in the DOO DA Parade once a year because the smart LBGTQ people are getting educated and getting good paying jobs so they can keep their sexually to themselves and live the American dream.

  2. > “We will continue to do everything we can to protect innocent transgender children, especially when the rights of our transgender youth are being infringed upon by [President Donald Trump].”

    Speaking of protecting innocent transgender children, has SJI noticed that innocent transgender children have been protected from having to pay the unfair future costs of the California High Speed Rail that were going to be imposed by the bullying Jerry Brown regime?

  3. Let’s vote on it, Yeager!

    Why won’t you allow parents and others to have any say in this weirdness? Instead, you just try to shove it down everyones’ throats. Just do your job and fix the potholes that are multiplying like bunny rabbits, and leave this nonsense to hippie communes.

    This is just like ‘Sanctuary Cities’; the citizens are kept out of any decision making in these insane, radical, and frankly, un-American changes.

    The electeds’ message to taxpayers is pretty clear:

    “Shut up and pay, chumps. Your kids belong to us.”

    …And some folks still wonder why we have President Trump, instead of President Clinton II.

    • Have you noticed Supervisor Yeager is in an elected position? So the people he represents’s message is actually pretty clear. If you disagree, try convincing them otherwise or move.

  4. > …And some folks still wonder why we have President Trump, instead of President Clinton II.

    For those still yearning for a Hillary Clinton presidency, here is a website that will keep the dream alive:

    A perfect antidote for Trump Derangement Syndrome: Trump never happened!

  5. “Title IX—which prevents federally funded schools from discriminating on the basis of sex—applies to transgender students.”

    According to this ruling:

    — to qualify to play on the girl’s basketball team all a boy need do is to identify as a female and beat out the competition for a roster spot.

    — every P.E.-dreading wimp will be free to opt for a girl’s class (in between his journalism and drama classes).

    — every Rhonda Roundheels will be just three words (“I’m a boy”) removed from the boy’s locker room and shower stall.

    When gender is determined by biology, a very small minority of abnormal people will find themselves challenged to negotiate society’s customs and institutions; when gender is determined by the individual, the vast majority of normal people will find themselves challenged to preserve their customs and institutions while accommodating the selfish impulses and unpredictable demands of abnormal others.

    Under Obama, the Justice Department (which operated with all the objectivity of Lenin’s Cheka) held that the determination of gender was the individual’s — unless it was an individual sentenced to federal prison, which just goes to show that for liberals to rule effectively, truth, justice, and reality must be theirs to define.

    • “Sincerely held, long-standing gender identity”. Here you go, all your problems are solved by a common sense phrase that’s already in our laws…

      • A common sense phrase? There is no such thing in a nation in which so many have worked so long and so hard to destroy commonality. Exhibit A: biology is a common sense basis for identifying gender, differentiating a fetus from a tumor, and clinically determining death, but the evidence shows we’ve sacrificed this traditional and highly-functional basis in service to the fickle and impulsive opinions of the individual.

        Here’s a common sense phrase: the President of the United States? According to your above reply to Smokey, Mr. Trump is an elected representative of the people and as such those who reject his rule should move out of America? Shall I assume you are packing?

      • In order to avoid the controversy about what bathroom to use based on what gender I think I am, I simply puke and poop my pants wherever I am standing at the time, much as I do when I see a photo of Caitlyn Jenner.

  6. I’ve never really understood what transgender was supposed to mean. Isn’t it all just a degree of body modification? From putting on some lipstick and a dress to taking hormones and having surgery – gender as defined by DNA is unchanged – just put into a different costume. To say that one change gender by means of “self identification” is really very nebulous – – a man with some degree of body modification, can self identify as female and go into the little girls room? If this is the rule then one can self identify one’s race – “I am a proud black man” says Donald Trump. This must be how Elizabeth Warren became Native American

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