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Donald Trump slammed for ‘weaponising playgrounds’ in latest abhorrent attack on trans people

Vic Parsons June 1, 2020
Donald Trump 'weaponising playgrounds' with latest attack on trans youth

President Donald Trump speaks after the successful launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on May 30, 2020 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. (Saul Martinez/Getty Images)

Donald Trump has been condemned for “weaponising playgrounds” in his administration’s latest attack on trans youth.

Trans youth playing schools sports violates the civil rights of cisgender youth, the Department of Education said in a 45-page letter obtained last week by the Associated Press.

The letter is a response to a federal discrimination complaint filed last year, in which three cis female high school athletes claim that two trans girls have an unfair physical advantage over them in athletics competitions.

The cis athletes claim was brought by the Alliance Defending Freedom, a Southern Poverty Law Centre-designated hate group that lobbies against LGBT+ rights and access to abortion.

Kevin Jennings, CEO of civil-rights organisation Lambda Legal, said this latest attack on trans youth by the Donald Trump administration was “shameful” and “weaponising playgrounds”.

“The Trump-Pence administration… is weaponising playgrounds in its latest attempt to turn back the clock on full civil rights for all LGBT+ people,” Jennings said in a statement.

He added: “Every student has a right to feel safe in school and should be able to participate in school athletics as their true authentic selves.

“The letter issued by the US Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) explicitly subjects transgender students to discrimination, marginalisation and rejection.

“This is a shameful attack that intentionally targets transgender youth athletes just for being who they are.”

The Department of Education letter, dated May 15, says that allowing trans girls to play on girls’ sports teams has “denied female student-athletes athletic benefits and opportunities, including advancing to the finals in events, higher level competitions, awards, medals, recognition, and the possibility of greater visibility to colleges and other benefits”.

The Department of Education joins the Justice Department, which in March 2019 declared that trans girls should be treated as “biological males” when playing school sports.

Jennings added: “Historically, the inequities in our society are reflected on the playing field.

“And there have always been people like Greg Louganis, Jackie Robinson, Rene Richards, and Billy Jean King, who – by breaking barriers courageously – propelled society forward.

“Lambda Legal salutes these brave transgender high school athletes as they follow in a proud tradition of athletes fighting to break down barriers and claim their right to compete in sports as their true authentic selves. They are heroes.

“Just as they stand up to bullies on the playing field, we will stand up to these bullies in the halls of power.”

More: department of education, Donald Trump, lambda legal, Mike Pence, trans youth, trans-inclusive sports

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