AUSTIN, Texas - Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is trying to keep up the pressure on the Fort Worth Independent School District over the superintendent’s bathroom policy.
At a news conference in Austin Tuesday, Patrick said he is asking the state’s attorney general to determine whether it was legal for Superintendent Kent Scribner to declare that transgender students in the district can use the bathroom based on their gender identity, not the gender on their birth certificate.
“You have to ask the question, ‘Why did this policy come out of nowhere when there seemed to be nothing to create it?’ I said at the time because it was directly linked to the Obama policies in Washington. Some in the media scoffed… 36 hours later, I was proven right,” Patrick said.
Last week Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration seeking to block the White House directive requiring that transgender students across the country be allowed to use the bathroom of their choice.
Opponents of the presidential order say it will disrupt schools. Patrick's office said the directive could create potentially embarrassing and unsafe situations for girls who could be forced to share bathrooms, locker rooms and showers with boys.
Supporters of transgender bathroom access argue the opposition is exaggerating the potential complications and that the issue is about combating discrimination aimed at transgender students.
So far at least 10 other states have joined Texas in suing the Obama administration. Experts believe the lawsuit could get a favorable ruling in some of the lower courts. However, many believe the case may ultimately end up with the Supreme Court.
For now the policy in Fort Worth ISD remains in place.